The Witch of the East is a high quality book written by Mark Boyde with beauiful illustrations by Scott McGregor, and is a compelling, moral story about a witch, faeries and other creatures. It’s told using imaginative rhymes, which keeps the pace going and the audience engaged. The gothic tale follows the Witch of the East as she tricks the faeries of Sweetascanbee Castle into going to a party at her house in the scary Ringfinger Forest. But the party is not all it seems. Along the way, you meet goblins, a troll, ogres, sea hags, red wolves and black crows.
The book is aimed at children aged 4 to 11 years, although the story may be a little dark for the youngest children. Munchkin found it quite scary, but he still enjoyed it and kept turning the pages eagerly. We’ve now read the book several times and it’s definitely one he wants to come back to.
This is one of a series of books, The Tales of Mordekai Hagg, and Munchkin and I are curious to see how the story develops. The next book The Legend of Mordekai Hagg is due to be released this month.
It also comes as a beautifully produced iPad app with very high quality art and the same compelling story. The app is nicely narrated by Braveheart actor Jimmy Chisholm and Royal Shakespeare Company actress Siobhan Redmond.
There is some animation in the app, which is faithful to the book, great sound effects and atmospheric music. The app also includes extensive back stories for all of the characters and explains the background to the tale. The only possible negative point is that the app isn’t really interactive, but the extensive detail of the character biographies makes up for this.
A percentage (25%) of the price goes to The Scottish Burned Children’s Club, a charity dedicated to young burns survivors across Scotland. Each book in the saga will be dedicated to a different charity.
Overall, the book and app are great and highly recommended, especially if your little one likes to be scared but isn’t prone to nightmares!
You can buy the iPad app and order hardback and paperback versions of the book on the website. The website includes lots of information about the characters and the creators an is well worth spending some time on.
Disclosure: I was sent the book and iPad app to review, but my opinions are honest and all my own.