By Sibéal Pounder
Published by Bloomsbury
ISBN 978 1 4088 8034 0
It’s such a relief to find something totally bonkers hiding amongst all the earnest novels weighing down the shelves in the children’s section of a bookshop. Witch Glitch is the fourth adventure for Tiga Whicabim in the Witch Wars saga, Sibéal Pounder’s completely crazy series for younger readers.
It’s the characters and the screwball situations, not the plots, that drive Pounder’s stories along, so you don’t have to have read the first three books to enjoy this one.
The mayhem hits on page one as Tiga’s mum, Gretal Green, plays around with Dennis, her bewitched glove. Can you pour another cup of refreshing silver tea, please, Dennis? If you think this is strange, you haven’t read anything yet. A very inventive imagination is at work here, and you’ll will soon realise that it is never clear what Tiga and her bizarre set of hangers-on will get up to next.
A great deal has happened since Fran the Fabulous Fairy first told Tiga she’s a witch, pointing out that the name Tiga Whicabim is an anagram of “I am a big witch”. Once Tiga accepted that, she had no choice but to follow Fran down the drainpipes to Sinkville, home to wonderful witches and fabulous fairies. Tiga was reluctantly pushed forward as a contestant in Sinkville’s Witch Wars, a competition to find the best witch, and the event made her famous.
Now, at the start of adventure four, she has moved to Silver City to live a nice, peaceful, witchy life with her mum. But soon, Tiga and her friends are faced with an adventure that tests their powers.
When Tiga comes across a book called The Karens by Gloria Tatty, things get very exciting. Tiga starts getting letters offering to make all her wishes come true – but who is sending them? Is it Tiga’s fame that has attracted this stalker who follows her like a shadow? When the stalker turns out to be the granddaughter of Gloria Tatty, things take a turn for the even more bizarre.
Tiga and her friends hop on the Sinkville Express to investigate the mysterious Karens. Before anyone has time to sprinkle even a pinch of gold dust, the gang are in the middle of another fantastic adventure – which turns squidgy when they find themselves inside a castle made of jelly.
Witch Glitch is another scatty, wacky adventure with an entertaining cast of crazy characters. The amusing illustrations scattered through the book add to the mayhem and amusement, but it wears a bit thin towards the end. The Witch
Wars may have run their course, but if they have, it’s been an entertaining ride.
John Millen can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org.