This is a fantastic new primary book by one of my all-time favourite authors, Diana Wynne Jones.
If you haven’t already read her Chrestomanci series (particularly Charmed Life and The Pinhoe Egg), or Howl’s Moving Castle, then you should run out and get them. Now. Right now. Why are you still reading this? Go get them!! She was absolutely delightful, and has been in the biz for a long time (Charmed Life was written in 1973 – I was so sad to hear she had passed away March 2011).
Admittedly simpler than her books for older readers, Earwig and the Witch is about a young orphan named Earwig who is very good at getting her own way. Though she has a “delightful” personality, she rather rules the roost at the orphanage and is not at all interested in being adopted. Nevertheless, she is… by a witch (in poor disguise) named Bella Yaga and a nine-foot man named Mandrake who sometimes has horns. Mandrake in particular is classic Diana Wynne Jones – he is a stern and smouldering presence through much of the story, until he (spoiler!) turns out to be an old softy.
A charming and fun book for young readers – I wish there were going to be more to look forward to.