Witch Hazel by Molly Idle seemed like it was going to be something other than it was by the cover and what I had quickly read about it. I had no idea I would need tissues!
You see, this is about a young girl and her grandmother and the beautiful times they have. Or had. As you see how the grandmother, Hazel, slowly starts to change as the seasons change. Without coming right out and saying it, you know that she has passed by the end of the book. With that said, I am not sure if kids would be “okay” with this book. Maybe if they had a beloved grandmother like the little girl did, but even then, I would not be sure. As the adult, read this first to see how you think your reader, regardless of age, might react.
And now we get to the fun part. The art. These illustrations are one of the reasons (or I should say the cover, plus the word witch) I thought that this would be a Halloween story. They are exactly as the cover shows. They are simple, but not negatively simplistic. There is a lot going on. Even things that are not directly related to the story are sweet, and important. They add to the mood of the tale. They include hints of the passing of time and the foreshadow of the finally results.
Now, I said I needed tissues, but you know allergies (hey! I work in the basement of our building and the loading dock is right above me! Those trucks nasty stir up dust! And fish smell. Don’t ask). Honestly, though, you might need some. This is not, obviously, a happy story, but it is oddly hopefully. I really did not cry, but it is emotional.