Tuesday, September 12, 2023

"A Treasury of Witches and Wizards" — briefly annotated

That's Phantom. Isn't she pretty?
This book was one of my recent finds at the Goodwill store in Queen Creek, Arizona. Published in 1996 by Kingfisher1, it's A Treasury of Witches and Wizards, as chosen by David Bennett. This particular book is interesting because: (1) it collects the Ruth Manning-Sanders retelling of the Tyrolean tale "Gold," from 1966's A Book of Wizards; (2) one of its previous owners — a parent? a teacher? storyteller?  — has annotated the table of contents to provide some subjective thoughts on the 15 stories.

Here's the table of contents and its annotations:

  • "The Hare and the Black and White Witch" by Lynne Reid Banks — No!
  • "Petronella" by Jay Williams — fair, long
  • "Gold" by Ruth Manning-Sanders — fair to good, long
  • "The Mean Pear Seller" by Floella Benjamin — OK to good lesson, short
  • "The Boy with Two Shadows" by Margaret Mahy — kinda cute
  • "The Not-Very-Nice Prince" by Pamela Oldfield — fair 
  • "Yashka and the Witch" by Stephen Corrin — fair
  • "The Improving Mirror" by Terry Jones — fair to good
  • "Jack My Lad" by Alan Garner — fair to good
  • "The Fat Wizard" by Diana Wynne Jones — too long
  • "Glooskap and the Sorcerer" by Gillian Osband — fair - 
  • "Lizzie Dripping and the Witch" by Helen Cresswell
  • "The Tale of the Three Tails" by Charles J. Finger — good but long
  • "Hamish and the Wee Witch" by Moira Miller — good for Halloween, adapt & shorten
  • "Anancy, Old Witch and King-Daughter" by James Berry — fair

Final note: The cover illustration is by Virginia Chalcraft and the interior illustrations, including those on the table of contents, are by Jacqui Thomas.
1. The publisher's full name is Larousse Kingfisher Chambers Inc., and I'm unsure whether it's still in business.

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