Review / Gush : What the Witch Left by Ruth Chew

I’ve got it! That’s my hand!

Do you remember THIS gushy post? It was about this childhood book, What the Witch Left and it recently came back into print. And that is my thumb, with the chipped nail polish holding it in my hand.

i have read it and it is just as darling as I remembered. I had this when I was a child but lost it at some point. I had been looking for this book for years and could never find it. I had the wrong title stuck in my head – one day I just googled “invisible seven league boots Pilar” and up it came! I was so excited to find it again. This is a wonderful children’s story about a girl named Katy and her best friend Louise’s adventures with some items found locked in a old chest of drawers. The story has really stayed with me – I remembered just about every bit of it and the illustrations, as I nearly read the covers off it. This was first published in 1973 and I was born in 1971. I got it sometime during first or second grade. This even has the original drawings inside! I wish it had the original creepy cover. I wish I knew what else Aunt Martha got up to. As a writer, I almost want to explore her story for myself.

First thing I did was flip through and check out the beloved, well remembered illustrations that are by the author herself. I was bummed because I thought this was at the end of the story and couldn’t find it! But it was much earlier in the book. I was so relieved to see this one.

Not gonna lie… this might be the problematic part of the book. I don’t know what all Ruth Chew knew about Mexico during the 1970s. I don’t know what kind of straw mats they were making and selling at market. But I do know this book has two little white girls go to Mexico and make a better placemat than the Grandma whose been doing it her whole life. I will point out that they were using magic gloves. So…


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