The Cold Water Witch

What It Is

In the middle of the coldest night of the year, a little girl is visited by the title character, an evil witch that’s a cross between a Disney villainess and “The Cold Miser” from “A Year Without a Santa Claus.” At first, the witch appears to be a snow princess and coaxes the girl to go with her to her isolated wintery land. But, the Cold Water Witch doesn’t expect to encounter a skeptical girl able to think on her feet. When led to the household freezer, which is the gateway to the witch’s icy land, the brave youngster resists going and tricks the witch to get inside the freezer instead. The little girl’s compassion wins out in the end and the witch “thaws” to become a girl herself. The two head back to the little girl’s room and enjoy a “warm” playdate.

Why It’s Fun

The story is a light read and evocative of a classic fairy tale in that a brave young heroine outsmarts an evil witch. Though scary at first, the girl’s bravery is entertaining, and the story ends as one of sweet friendship. The illustrations are both beautiful and haunting. Tom Lintern captures the enchantment of fresh-fallen snow, yet conveys an effective eeriness that compliments Yannick Murphy’s story.

Who’s Going To Love It

I have mixed feelings about this book. On one hand, we enjoyed the little girl’s bravery and that they become friends, but the first half might be scary for some kids. My five-year-old is prone to bad dreams, but the book didn’t affect her. However, she hasn’t asked to read it again, and I haven’t pushed it. My advice is to borrow it first and then purchase it if it works for your child.

Reading Time

4-5 minutes

Read-It-Again Points

6 out of 10

Book Information

The Cold Water Witch
By: Yannick Murphy, Illustrated by Tom Lintern
Published by: Tricycle Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books
Approximate retail price: $16.99
Publisher’s recommended ages: 4 - 7


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