If this book has not at least been challenged at least once, I would be amazed. Witch Poems edited by Daisy Wallace includes some fantastic poems. However, while this is a great collection of poetry about witches and spooky fun (and not so much fun), it can be dated with language and imagery. Trina Schart Hyman had a style that when you saw it, you knew it was them. They had diverse characters before diverseness was prominent in children’s books. Yet, there are some stereotypes in them as in Poison Ivy! by Katherine Gallagher (we see the black woman who is stooped and pictured as an “old hag” with an evil glare). Yet they are still really lovely and fit the era (this book was originally from the mid-1970s), but might not be to modern sensibilities.
Which also goes for some of the text. One poem uses the slur for the proper term for a female dog. The thing is, it is perfectly fine for the poem, but it can be a shock as it seemingly comes out of nowhere. The poets range from X. J. Kennedy, James Reeves, E. E. Cummings, Eleanor Farjeon, Jack Prelutsky, Felice Holman, Karla Kushin and more. Classics (Shakespeare with an excerpt from the Scottish play) and more contemporary stories in poems (several of which are presented in rhyme) are mixed together on the pages. And while this collection would be good for Halloween, it really is an anytime book. Just probably not for bedtime.
This is not for very young children and the black and white art might be a turn off for some kids. I would say it probably would be best for at least ages 7 and up (and of course adults). Also, the picture book format could turn some kids off. But it is very lovely and represents the artist’s style well and the concept of witches as terrifying, though some do have humor. It might be a little difficult to find a copy as it is out of print. I accidently found the copy I read because I went to grab another book that was faced out and something told me to let my eyes wander to a nearby shelf, where it was sticking out a smidgen more than others. I would also find a collection of short ghost stories edited by Roald Dahl but that is another story.