Joy H. Davidson is from the Hawkes Bay. Davidson recieved the 2015 Joy Cowley Award for the unpublished manuscript of this book. Nikki Slade Robinson lives in Opitiki, and has written and illustrated a number of children’s books. Slade Robinson won the Picture Book award at the 2016 NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults for her book Little Kiwi’s Matariki.
There was once a very pleasant witch. She looked exactly as a witch should look, except for one small, furry detail. No cat! She had a broom and a tall black hat but her spells wouldn’t work without a cat! She stirred her cauldron and with a rumble and a hiss, the cauldron spat out a sign!
Knock, knock, tiddly-ock knock (don’t you love those words? – they drip off the tongue) on her front door. Outside sat a fluffy Persian cat. “I’ve come about the job” she purred. “Please come in,” the witch said. Unfortunately on further questioning the fluffy Persian couldn’t possibly ride on her broom as he’d get broomsick and cough up fur-balls into her cauldron. Whoever heard of a broomsick cat?
The story continues with an elegant Siamese cat applying for the job – he too was unsuccessful as he couldn’t possibly eat animal gizzards and live with toads and lizards. He was far too fussy with his food to be a successful witch’s cat.
I read this book to nearly 2-year-old Quinn. She sat attentively listening to the story with us both stopping and admiring the different cats. Quinn’s vocabulary is fairly limited, but she really enjoyed this story. I was told to “read it” Grandma again and then again. Quinn then took the book from me and said “mine”. So one little girl was captivated by poor witch trying hard to fill a job vacancy for a full-time companion and assistant. The ending is rather wonderful with the solution so obvious, it’s a wonder we all didn’t think of it!
This is a beautiful story with such lovely illustrations. Quinn has a birthday shortly so this book will join others as part of her 2nd birthday presents.
Reviewed by Christine Frayling
Witch’s Cat Wanted – Apply Within
by Joy H. Davidson & Nikki Slade Robinson
Published by Scholastic NZ