Gruhilda is a witch down on her luck. There aren’t too many people who believe in magic anymore, and that puts her out of a job. What does a witch do, after generations of stirring up cauldrons of trouble (and, occasionally, children)? You got it: she goes to work as a school lunch lady. And it’s a dream job for her; she gets to cook up awful pots full of foulness that turn kids’ stomachs upside down. The only problem? Madison, a quirky kid that kind of sees Grunhilda for who she really is. Madison asks Grunhilda for some help, but will a witch actually help a kid? And how will the witch community take it if she does?
The Lunch Witch is one of those graphic novels that works great for readers of all ages. It would go so well with a unit on fairy tales, as a kind of epilogue – what happens to the wicked witch when everyone else lives happily ever after? Fairy tales, and re-tellings of fairy tales, are experiencing a renaissance in media and in the classroom these days, so teachers and parents, jump on this!
I loved the look of this book. The book is made to look like an old tale itself, with stained-looking pages and black, white, and grey/olive artwork. The occasional use of color is impactful, whether it’s to draw attention to a frog or show the jarring blue of a cafeteria door.
There is some great, delightfully morbid humor in this book. Yes, witches dig up dead cats and ate Hansel and Gretel. They’re witches – any original Grimm’s fairy tale will tell you that these ladies were formidable in their own right. But the story uses these awful characteristics to make an even stronger case about what Grunhilda is supposed to do in this day and age. You really can’t get away with grave robbery so much, and how many kids are getting left in the forest to happen upon a candy house these days?
I’d love to see some more Lunch Witch adventures! In the meantime, give this book to your younger readers, and get ready for some laughs when they start looking at the lunch lady differently.
The Lunch Witch is on sale in stores now. Enjoy a quick look at the book right here!
THE LUNCH WITCH
Writer and Artist: Deb Lucke