Witch! is the third book in the Dragon Knight series for young readers (aged 6+). It is written by Kyle Mewburn (Kiss, Kiss, Yuck, Yuck and No Room for a Mouse) and illustrated by Donovan Bixley. They also collaborated on the Dinosaur Rescue series.
Merek and his family are shape-shifting dragons that live in the human world during medieval times. Merek wants to be a knight, so attends knight school. Ironically, knights train to slay dragons, so this is where Merek’s problems lie. In the third book of the series, Witch!, Merek is stuck in the stocks. He is covered in sores and dribbling green slime from his nose. As the doctor is unfamiliar with the condition, he decides it must be witchcraft! The community is keen to blame Granny Smith. If he confesses to being in her garden then he will be set free – and get Granny in a lot of trouble. The problem is that the sores and green slime are typical side effects of eating brussel sprouts – if you are a dragon of course! The novel explains the sequence of events leading up to this dilemma, and of course, how it resolves.
The text and illustrations work very well together with every page featuring at least one illustration. Some of the illustrations serve to explain background to medieval times or the plot. My favourite was an explanation of the ‘Top Five Medieval Dangers.’ Seeing a doctor was not always good for your health! There are a lot of jokes and ‘gross bits’ that children enjoy. You do not require knowledge of the previous books in the series to enjoy this book.
My five-year-old daughter enjoyed listening to the story and my eight-year-old rapidly read through the whole story in one sitting! It is just perfect I think for six- and seven-year-old independent readers.
Reviewed by Emma Wong-Ming
Dragon Knight: Witch! (book 3)
Written by Kyle Mewburn and illustrated by Donovan Bixley
Published by Scholastic NZ