by Kaye Umansky
about 250 pages of magical gadgets, interesting characters and exciting adventures for middle grade readers and everyone who appreciates good friends
Clover Twig is sensible. She is dependable, thoughtful and unflappable – important qualities if you are going to work for a witch. That is what Clover, the eldest daughter of the Twig family, does in Clover Twig and the Magical Cottage. She answers Mrs. Eckles ad, and though she does not seem to fit all the qualifications (she doesn’t look all that strong), she is hired. From that day on Clover lives and works at the magical cottage six days a week. Clover is unfazed by the oddities around her. She has a cottage to clean, food to purchase in town and meals to prepare. She has eggs to collect, gates to grease and a yard to tend. Wilf, the delivery boy from the town and Neville, the large, rather smelly, ugly cat become her friends and companions
Clover settles into life at the cottage easily. She gets used to the strange things going on around her and she learns there are witches who use magic for good and witches who use magic for ill. Mrs. Eckles is an ethical witch. She uses her magic when necessary and she accepts her responsibility for keeping the magic content. She cares for the cottage and makes sure it’s pleased with its place. Her sister, Mesmeranza, is just the opposite sort of witch. She wants everything and she wants it all for herself no matter what or who is hurt. In fact she doesn’t care about that at all, she just wants everything.
When Mrs. Eckles plans to go to the May Fayre and leave the cottage in Clover’s care, Mezmeranza launches her plan. It has one flaw – Mezmeranza doesn’t know about Clover. She thinks Wilf is going to be at the cottage so she has misdirected her energies there. Clover Twig is undisturbed by the unusual happenings surrounding the magical things she finds herself confronted with. She isn’t scared or cowed and Mesmeranza doesn’t expect that. Clover is a force to be reckoned with – even if much happens by accident – which sends Mesmeranza into a fury.
You’ll smile at the outrageous shoes, allergies and antics that surround those who live at Castle Coldiron. You’ll appreciate how those from the Magical Cottage takes things in stride and are satisfied by who they are and what they do – flaws and all. Clover Twig is a great friend, loving sister and loyal employee, plus she knows what is right and just. It all works out in the end but it takes a lot of effort, ingenuity and cleaning.
Mesmeranza doesn’t get her way and she is not happy! She has a new plan and this time it is directed straight at Clover. Read Clover Twig and the Perilous Path to see how the second tale unfolds. Magic is challenging but those who are true at heart come through unscathed in the end.