Friday, February 8, 2019

Book Review: 'Willy Tilley and the Old Witch' by Anton Sunberry

Ukrainian author Anton Sunberry writes children’s picture books and transmedia projects, some of which have already been turned into TV programs, interactive applications, and an animated feature film. Of note, Anton is a supporter of children’s edutainment and a co-founder of Superkids Tips, which is a parents’ community that teaches children how to cope with challenges at home, on the streets, at school, and with friends and family. Anton’s recent project entails publishing 10 picture books on, each of which will be the beginning of a separate book series. He is a highly awarded, exceptionally creative artist.

This book, beautifully illustrated by Vika Protas, tells us about a little boy Willy Tilley who gives his mother a self-help book for her birthday. To celebrate her birthday Mrs. Tilley chooses to spend her birthday in the country instead of an amusement park – not Willy’s idea of fun. But when the family drives to the country Willy elects to make the journey a spy mission- searching for the perfect place to hide his gift for his mother. Trying to find a place in the country house was a challenge: mother was a committed cleaner! Looking around the forest Willy sees a huge cat in a tree and Willy attempts to visit the treetop cat but falls and lends in Drolly World (as the cat informs him). Willy follows the huge cat to a strange house that housed the forest witch, pulls a few tricks to avoid being threatened to be eaten by the witch (she’s on a vegetarian diet!), then visits the garden to see where the witch’s vegetables are grown. When Willy fights the weeds the witch enters the garden and, because of the self-help book Willy had placed there, the witch uses learned magic forces and rids the garden of weeds. Friendly and happy the witch now feeds Willy and promises to return to Willy the self-help book for his mother’s birthday! A trip to the country turned out better than any amusement park – more magic and more lessons to learn!

Delightful story, beautifully illustrated and full of ideas and lessons young children will learn and love. Highly Recommended. Grady Harp, January 18

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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