CBR15Passport, New Author
The Witch of Wickerson by Derek Laufman is a fantastic book with amazing illustrations and a clever story. I could see a series and/or a movie or animated series adapted from it. While it has twists and turns, and can be dark, it is a slightly easier and less intense than Redwall. The adventures are based in fantasy elements (a mouse wearing clothes, talking animals, a witch) can be intense for young or sensitive readers. And there is the kidnapping of the heroes son, plus what the witch plans on doing with the villagers she takes and especially what she has planned for the son (think Hansel and Gretel on all accounts, but the mouse boy is a little more important), that is not for everyone.
(image is not from the book but a goodie that came with my order, just also shows his style)
The idea of the story is familiar: a father goes to rescue his missing son, he runs into what he thinks is the witch and her cat (though most think they are just fairy tales and bedtime stories told to young ones to make them behave), and the village will not help them as well, they might get their fancy clothes dirty. Besides, nobody with an education would believe in witches. That is until they are swinging from her hands as she pulls them out of the town center, or banged around in her basket. Of course, our hero saves his son, and things work out for the best (one assumes). There is some humor in the form of two moles that are sweet, but maybe not the swiftest creatures of the forest (I think they might not have worn their helmets a couple of times while digging. Then again, they have some great logic at one point that proves they are not as dumb as they might look at first glance).
The artwork Laufman made is polished, probably computerized, but at the same time feels old school. Mostly based in darker colors, they do have spunk and pop to them. Overall, the artwork is a nice addition to the story, and is helpful to move it along, but it could have worked just as well without them. (Though, I prefer with art.) I think you will like or dislike the art; I do not think there is a lot of middle ground though.
You do have to purchase this through Laufman’s website (see the bubble wrap image) and for the US buyers, know it is coming from Canada. Outside the US and Canada, I did not pay attention to the shipping guidelines, sorry!