What terrible thing has happened to Willow Grove? Once a beautiful haven, now a scene of total devastation. The creatures of the forest cower in terror, but from what? There is a cruel magic at hand here. It is up to Jenny to solve the mystery and save her friends before it is too late!
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'The Hippity Dippity Witch' is a heart warming story that captures the wondrous imagination of young children. Embraced by its vivid imagery and endearing characters, readers will find themselves swept along with this magical adventure.
The story unfolds when little eight year old Jenny Connolly, after a battle with her conscience, skips school one day in order to avoid a spelling test that she has been dreading. Jenny escapes through the fields to an enchanted wood called Willow Grove. Jenny is no stranger to Willow Grove or to its delightful characters such as Elsa, the wise and gracious deer, Louis Noodle, the self-important owl, Lucy and Oscar Pebble, the excitable young robins, to name but a few. Here in this magical place, Jenny can talk to the animals and delight in their world.
When Jenny arrives in Willow Grove she is shocked by what she sees. It is a scene of devastation; the river is almost dried up causing great anguish for her droll friend Hector, the tortoise. The once majestic Ash tree is shrivelled and fading. The ground is burnt and there is little sign of life. Jenny discovers that her friends have all been living in terror of "the new witch" who has descended upon their once peaceful haven.
The "new witch" is difficult ten year old Marigold Dimple, who has been sent to stay with her aunt Griselda for the summer. Marigold deceives her aunt into thinking she has passed her exams at the academy of magic. Marigold, however, believing school to be a comple waste of her precious time, has not successfully mastered the casting of spells. This does not deter Marigold as she angrily stomps through the woods casting spells here and there causing mayhem at every turn as each of her spells results in a different catastrophe.
Amidst all of this chaos, Jenny and Marigold's paths collide. Each young girl is forced to question her actions and face up to her fears. While both come from very different worlds, their problems are not so different. They realise and learn from mistakes made, they come to understand that things are never quite as bad as they first seem and running away from your problems just makes things worse. The adventure draws to its conclusion with a surprising twist that readers will not expect but thoroughly enjoy.
Marigold grew impatient. 'It's not that difficult. You're either a witch or you aren't...ooh never mind. You could be just the person I'm looking for.'
My eyes widened in alarm. 'But I can't. It's late. There's no time.'
'Look you don't want to make me mad. Believe me.' Grabbing me roughly by the arm.
I know! I know!
'Where are we going?'
'Back to my aunt's cottage. Two witches are better than one. You can help me make up the potions to reverse the spells I made and then show me how to make some of those sweads.'
Oh why didn't I tell her the truth? Knowing deep deep she would never have understood anyway. My pulse quickened however at the thought of seeing Griselda's home.
Marigold pulled me along through the wood. Past Scuttle, the squirrel's home, on past his school, deeper and deeper into Willow Grove. Her grip on my arm tight, pinching my skin.
'You can let go now. I'm coming with you. Arent' I?'
'How come I haven't seen you around here before? My aunt knows all the witches in these parts and she never mentioned you.'
'That's because I'm...I'm just visiting like I said.'
Marigold turned her head to look at me. Her eyes absorbing every detail of the school uniform. My heart thudded and my hands felt sticky.
'You're dressed weird. Come on, I need to get back before my aunt returns.'
Yanking me once again through the forest.