Alcatoe and the Turnip Child

Flying Eye. Oct. 2022. 64p. pap. $12.99. ISBN 9781838740146.
Gr 3 Up–This graphic novel drops young readers into Plum Woods, a sylvan hamlet populated by witches, anthropomorphic vegetables, and adventurous kids. Alcatoe is a young witch determined to get the best of her elder, the great (and bossy) Goonwartha. In a stroke of fate, she finds a trio of human siblings hoping to best a cranky neighborhood gardener, aptly named Mr. Pokeweed. Together they create the titular Turnip Child to win the local Harvest Festival and wreak havoc on their rivals. The winding journey through field and forest, filled with silly spells and raucous neighborhood potlucks, is a slice of fresh, folklorish fun. Those familiar with the Flying Eye catalog, best known for the troll-focused “Hilda” series, will recognize a kindred universe in Lenkiewicz’s witchy world, visualized with maze-like illustrations in dark, autumnal colors.
VERDICT Alcatoe’s world of everyday magic is a funky, fun place to stay a spell, great for light fantasy fans.

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