Release Date: January 3, 2017
The Witch’s Vacuum Cleaner and Other Stories by Terry Pratchett is an anthology of 14 stories with a magical and humorous twist. How nice would it be to be able to summon items with a simple pointing finger? How bad would it be if you couldn’t control what appeared? Could it all be tied to a vacuum cleaner that appeared out of nowhere? The Witch’s Vacuum Cleaner and Other Stories is a great anthology written for children full of magical problems, slapstick comedy and an introduction to the magic that is Pratchett that was to come.
The Witch’s Vacuum Cleaner and Other Stories is a very short and easy read. Geared to children ages 7 – 9 (according to Amazon.com), the stories are easy reads and beautifully illustrated. Most of the stories are set in the Welsh town of Llandanffwnfafegettupagogo (try to pronounce that with your little one!). Some of the stories have an obvious moral like “The Gnome of Evan More,” where a gnome thinks he’s the last and then meets others of his kind at a time when they all need to stay together and learn to drive to stay alive! There’s a spirit of Suess in the “Great Train Robbery.” The wordplay of the story of a botched train robbery is clever and silly. My favorite story was “Wizard War” in which feuding wizards battle with spells. While the stories may be written for children, they have the ability to delight children of any age.
What makes Pratchett great is his unwavering wealth of imagination. This is a book where the reader pauses to wonder in awe. “Who thinks of these things?” He introduces us to an encyclopedia of troll culture, he sets in our world and another world under the surface that is not without its problems but frequently joyful and fun. The setting is perhaps more grounded in our world than the Discworld books but the humor and magic are pure Pratchett. If you have a child that you want to introduce to really good fantasy and they’re still a little young for Douglas Adams, The Witch’s Vacuum Cleaner and Other Stories is the perfect read. Its fun, silly and just genuinely well written.
If you are a fan of Terry Pratchett, The Witch’s Vacuum Cleaner and Other Stories is one not to miss. If you’re looking for a gift for a young relative or friend, pick this one up today. They will thank you.
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