The Lunch Witch, written and illustrated by Deb Lucke is a graphic novel with the kind of gross-out, dark humor that older elementary and middle school students will be unable to resist. Grunhilda, the lunch witch herself, is from a long line of evil witches. These ancestors gave Grunhilda their famous recipes and bubbling cauldron, but despite their tried-and-true results, no one believes in magic anymore.
Grunhilda is fired from her job pretending to be a witch at the Salem Haunted Museum– how humiliating! – when she turns her boss into a piece of poop. He deserved it! Desperate, she is forced to search for new work before all her witchy animal friends starve in her home. When she finds the listing for a school lunch lady, she is finally excited about her prospects. Boiling disgusting concoctions in a giant pot to make children suffer? Perfect. She gets the job.
However, Grunhilda’s wicked scheme begins to go awry when she meets Madison, a girl with big glasses and lots of school troubles. Madison needs a lot of help, but Grunhilda’s ancestors will do more than turn over in their graves if she does something – gasp! – nice. Will Grunhilda turn her back on generations of wicked witch agreements and help Madison, or will she live up to her evil upbringing?
Illustrated in a style reminiscent of Shel Silverstein’s art, only darker and dingier, the story seems to be set on top of greasy, food stained pages. Dark green undertones and thick lines, with sporadic pops of contrasting color, the artwork feels simultaneously creepy and hilarious. Skin-crawling details like maggots, pencil shavings, onion skins, bones and torn pages add to the grimy feeling of the story. Readers will find themselves squirming with delighted disgust as they turn the pages, unable to put the book down.
The Lunch Witch is a book that kids of all ages will read over and over again. They will love Grunhilda’s endearing character and her humorous battle between good and evil decisions. They will love Madison, the seemingly ordinary girl who has a punch packed up her sleeve. They will love the deliciously disgusting illustrations and humor running through the story. Finally, they will await copies of the recently-released sequel, The Lunch Witch #2: Knee Deep in Niceness, with great anticipation.
We are so excited to be mixing things up at CBA, beginning with some delicious additions to the Blogfish. Meet our awesome new bloggers!!
Here's our lineup:
1st Mondays begin with Clear Fork/Spork editor/art director, former agent and former kidlit professor Mira Reisberg PhD who is also the Director of the Children's Book Academy.
2nd Mondays will feature super smart Melissa Stoller whose career is taking off with several new books.
3rd Mondays will feature Bryan Patrick Avery, published writer, man of mystery, and professional magician among other things.
4th Mondays will feature the fabulous debut author/illustrator Maggie Brown.
And 5th Mondays will feature the wonderful Ave Maria Cross