Tuesday 12 July 2011

Earwig and the Witch by Diana Wynne Jones

Pages - 140
Published by HarperCollins Children's Books in 2011
Book kindly sent by publisher for an honest review

At St Morwald's Home for Children it was the day when people who wanted to be foster parents came to see which children they might want to take home with them. 

Earwig has lived at the orphanage since she was a baby and has become extremely clever at getting her own way. When any potential parents come to adopt a child, she has always made quite sure that they never wanted to adopt her. Until the arrival of the Witch, who takes a particular interest in Earwig and decides that she is the one she wants. 

When Earwig is taken to her new home, she soon realises that she is expected to be a servant for the witch. However Earwig has other ideas and talents of her own, which leave the witch a little surprised.


This was a bitter sweet book to read as it was the last one to be written by one of our most talented authors Diana Wynne Jones before she died. I feel truly sad to think that no more wonderful books written by her will enter the world. 

Now I know I am not the age group this book was intended for, but how could I resist reading the last book of a woman who is legendary in the book world. Within seconds of diving into the book, I had wanted to take the quirky, off beat Earwig home. Although I  am pretty sure I wouldn't have been able to change her impish ways and that she soon would have had me wrapped around her finger. That is what makes Earwig so special, she has a magical quality about her, allowing her to triumph in the most difficult situations and turn things to suit her will. Earwig will be known as the child who gets what she wants. A little bit of a Horrid Henry without the Horrid! 

I don't think I can review this book without mentioning the funny illustrations that accompany the story. These were designed by Marion Lindsay and really bring to life Diana's unusual characters, who were already so well written and individual within the book. 

This was a very quick quirky read which I enjoyed thoroughly. A weird and wonderful story line which brings to life a delightfully eccentric group of characters. I would have loved the book to be longer and the ending drawn out a bit more, but as it wasn't aimed at my age group, so I shall have to throw a silent tantrum and allow the younger generations to begin their future reading exploration with Diana Wynne Jones. Oh what fabulous books they will have to grow up with. If you have children aged around 7 to 9 who like something a bit different, then this book is the ideal read for them.


  1. It sounds like a great fun read! I've got to get my little sister to read this one... thanks for the review :)

  2. It sound so sweet and fun :D
    But I had forgotten she had passed away :/

  3. this one really does sound fun! I may have to get it soon!

  4. I bet this was a bittersweet reading experience. It sounds delightful!

  5. Awww, this book reminds me of those Worst Witch books I used to read as a child. Do you remember those? :D


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