Sense of place

McMullin, Elise mcmullea at kl.com
Tue Aug 31 18:38:11 EDT 1999


	Nat looked up The Mystical Beast:
	"I looked it up on abebooks.com: the author is Alison Farthing, and
you can
> get a new copy for a mere $5-$6 from all sorts of places..."
> 
	I thought her last name was Farthing, but I was grasping for the
first name.  I always get the author and the illustrator of that mixed up.
The illustrator was Penelope Lively, um, I think.

	It had a great pair of witch sisters in it, answering to Agatha and
Hecate  (someday I'd like to name a pair of cats that, if I don't choose a
Benvenuto and a Throgmorten that is). I've been fond of the name Hecate ever
since. It also had a henchman named Oswald who was cursed to speak only in
rhyme and prawn sandwiches, which I had never heard of at 7. I spent ages
trying to get my handwriting looking as spiky and eccentric as Official
Witch handwriting.  The Master Warlock communicated by magic telegram and
the Beast himself was wildly fond of garlic.  Now that I know it's so widely
available, I say - this is a fun book that worked incredibly well on at
least one 7 year old.  Kind of laid the groundwork for dwj fandom too.

	And if all that were not enough, the first line goes "Standing in
front of Henry at the bus stop was a girl with a cabbage on her head."  Tell
me you don't want to see what that's all about ;)

	Elise
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