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Clover Twig and the Magical Cottage (Clover Twig #1)

3.95  ·  Rating Details ·  261 Ratings  ·  72 Reviews
When the sensible, reliable, and always tidy Clover Twig goes to work for a messy witch, she discovers that the witch's cottage has quite a few secrets hiding inside of it!
Paperback, 320 pages
Published June 5th 2012 by Square Fish (first published April 7th 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Nov 15, 2009 Rebecca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children, british, fantasy
This was my seven-year-old daughter's book. She made it half way and then wanted to move on to something else. I told her she needed to finish this one before she started a new one ("Do what I say, not what I do"). The next day she told me that she had finished so I skimmed quickly and asked her a few questions regarding the characters. When she couldn't tell me an answer, I told her we were going to start at the beginning - together.

I intended to read aloud only the first few chapters to get he
Sarah Hipple
Dec 01, 2012 Sarah Hipple rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very fun adventure story. I'd say it's intended for a middle grade audience, but I had fun reading it even though I'm not in that age group.

Clover Twig is an ordinary girl and a very bossy older sister. But since most of the book does not take place while she's at her home, by the end we forget that she's the bossy older sister type.

Clover wants to earn some extra money for her big family, so she decides she's going to go work for the local witch (that's Mrs. Eckles) who needs a live-i
E. Anderson
Aug 26, 2009 E. Anderson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ten-year-old Clover Twig is a practical girl. She knows how to cook and clean and likes things neat and tidy. When she sees a classified ad for a housekeeper, she knows she is the girl for the job, even if it means moving in with the local witch, Demelza. Of course Clover Twig did not anticipate the many downsides to this job. Like the fact that this witch might be the most disorganized woman on the planet, or that a clumsy delivery boy would make her life difficult, or that a feud with Demelza’ ...more
Nov 19, 2009 Barbara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A quirky, fun fantasy with a definite British sensibility. The title and charming cover had me from the start. Clover is a sensible girl who bravely takes on a housekeeping job with the local witch who lives in a cottage full of surprises. Add a clumsy boy named Wilf, an evil, scheming witch sister, and a sometimes clever cat and you have a tale that's original, fun, and sure to be a hit with 9-12 year olds (a great read aloud, too). The chapter seen through Neville the cat's eyes is hilarious!
Aug 16, 2012 Brenda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Clover Twig is sensible. She is dependable, thoughtful and unflappable - important qualities if you are going to work for a witch. That is what Clover, the eldest daughter of the Twig family, does in Clover Twig and the Magical Cottage. She answers Mrs. Eckles ad, and though she does not seem to fit all the qualifications (she doesn't look all that strong), she is hired. From that day on Clover lives and works at the magical cottage six days a week. Clover is unfazed by the oddities around her. ...more
Tessa Joy
Apr 13, 2010 Tessa Joy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
To help out her large family, young Clover Twig decides to look for work. Clover finds an advertisement to be a housekeeper for Mrs. Eckles: a well-known witch who owns an odd, old cottage in the country. Clover applies for the position and Mrs. Eckles hires her. As Clover begins her job, she is told about the cottage’s powers, like its ability to fly. One day while Mrs. Eckles is away, Mesmeranza—Mrs. Eckles evil sister—gets through the cottage’s protective magic and flies away with the cottage ...more
Bridget R. Wilson
Clover is a practical sort of girl. Her family needs more income. Her father's disabled and the family has many mouths to feed. In light of their situation, Clover applies to be the local witch's cleaning girl. The wages are good and as witches go, Mrs. Eckles is not so bad. Cover is content to keep the cottage and gardens tidy. Her contentment is soon complicated by Mrs. Eckles' sister's plot to steal the cottage. With help from unlikely sources (clumsy Wilf and witch's cat Neville), Clover mus ...more
Feb 16, 2012 Carol rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Clover Twig is a clever and strong girl. When the village witch, Mrs. Eckles, advertises for a live-in housekeeper, Clover jumps at the chance to help her family (and have her own room). The cottage quickly comes together under Clover's capable hands. However, life is not meant to run smoothly for the little house. The evil Mesmeranza has a diabolical plan for the cottage which of course involves just the right outfit, a spectacular hairdo, and the perfect pair of red shoes! Wait, how could I fo ...more
Jul 28, 2010 Callie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tcs
Charming. Clover Twig is hired to help Mrs. Eckles, a local witch, with her messy (and yes, magical) cottage. The witch's evil sister, Mesmeranza, wants more than anything to get her hands on the cottage, even though she has a perfectly good castle already. When Mrs. Eckles goes off to sell potions and ointments at the fair, she leaves the cottage in the care of Clover and a very clumsy neighbor boy, Wilf. Of course, Mesmeranza has been making elaborate plans to take advantage of this kind of op ...more
Eva Mitnick
This is a charming story that takes fairy tale staples like the plucky peasant girl and the witch's cottage in the woods and uses a whimsical and slightly dry humor to create a fresh and entertaining fantasy. Mrs. Eckles' love and admiration for Neville (who exudes both an appalling stench and a huge personality), Mesmeranza's fascination with footwear, her prison guard's doomed love for her allergic cat-obsessed secretary, Wilf's clumsiness, and Clover's mania for tidiness are all entertaining. ...more
Clover answers a want add to work for a witch and ends up with an adventure. Clover is sensible and hardworking, and when she encounters Mrs. Eckles she wins her over and starts to clean her unusual home. She meets Neville, the witch's cat, and Wilf, an errand boy with no coordination. When Mrs. Eckles goes to the fair, her evil sister, Mesmeranza, takes that opportunity to steal her cottage. Now, Clover must use all of her cunning to get the cottage back.

This is a fun, quick story with picture
This is a fun little story about a responsible, hard-working, clever heroine (Clover Twig), a bumbling but lovable sidekick (Wilf), a well-meaning but absent-minded witch (Mrs. Eckles), and an evil-intentioned but vain sister witch (Mezmeranza). There is an assortment of other hilarious characters as well. Adventure, danger, intrigue await--the Brits know how to write fun fantasy. Why only 3 stars? (It's more like 3.5).

First: the illustrations just didn't work for me: a little too whimsical and
Jul 01, 2012 Candycloud rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Candycloud by: Annabel and Christine
Shelves: books-i-borrowed
Interestingly good.

Clover: Sweet, clever, and determined; I liked Clover Twig. She had so sense of humour, though, and countless times I felt like yelling at the book "Clover, you idiot! Brighten up a bit!"

Wilf: Crikey, was he annoying in the first half of the book... I grew to like him, though. Eventually.

Neville: YOU ARE AWESOME! Seriously awesome! His character was really brought to life when he licked that potion. =o)

Should I borrow the next book? Clover Twig and the Perilous Path
Anastasia Tuckness
This was a sweet little book set in that time and place where there are witches who live alone in a cottage in the woods and once a year they go off to the fair to peddle their wares. This year Clover (a village girl with too many siblings for her parents to feed) stays with the cottage when the witch goes away. Unfortunately the witch's evil sister comes to get the cottage, and mayhem ensues.

A familiar and fun setting and great characters (with some line drawings as well) make this book a humor
Dec 09, 2009 Ami rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My most fervent hope, at the moment, is that Kaye Umansky is busily writing a sequel to this delightful and utterly charming book. I absolutely loved the characters with their quirky personalities. I adored the narration and general flow of the plot. Mostly, I enjoyed giving a suitable voice to each character, especially the nasal Ms. Fly. Excellent book. I highly recommend it to old and young alike.
Annie Oosterwyk
A charming and simple tale riddled with whimsy. Clover is a fearless, clever (and tidy) girl who is looking for work to help support her family while her father spends his time at the pub. She is hired by a witch to keep house.
The witch's evil sister is after the cottage and when Clover is left alone for the night things begin to happen. The tone is light and funny and although accidents happen, nothing bad ever does.
There's something cozy about this book, and I think it's Clover Twig herself. Clover comes to work at the Witch's house after seeing the posting "Wanted: storng gril to cleen." Clover puts everything to right (in her charming, no nonsense English style) and even manages to help save the day when the Witch's evil sister, Mezmeranza, steals the magical cottage with Clover and klutzy Wilf inside. Nice, magical read.
Varsha Seshan
Mar 08, 2015 Varsha Seshan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When you try to summarise the story of Clover Twig and the Incredible Flying Cottage, it sounds incredibly like the kind of boring, outdated fairy tale that should have been lost to collective memory years ago, but it is not. Told with a zest that keeps you reading, with characters that walk out of the pages and talk to you, Clover Twig's story twists and turns fairy-tales to suit a modern child ...
Apr 01, 2012 Maggi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My 8yr old son really liked this book, it kept us entertained while I read him a chapter each night before bedtime for about a month. The heroine is a great little girl named Clover, but my son mostly loved her friend, Wilf. Wilf was an extremely clumsy but very helpful little sidekick. He cracked us up! (Of note, Even though I skipped a lot of the chapters about Mesmeranza (the bad witch with a funny shoe obsession), the story still made sense.)
Our second book by Kaye Umansky, whose books so far seem designed to be read out loud (with a certain level of dramatic expression) due to her specific and varied descriptions of her characters' voices. This is one more reason why it is not a good idea for Cabot to expect Carina to fall asleep quickly when I read to her.
Apr 08, 2011 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: juvenile-fiction
Clover Twig is a delightful read from across the pond! Humorous and interesting, this tale of one girl's magical adventures will appeal to readers of anything from "Sisters Grimm" to "Olivia Kidney" and everything in between. The writing is solid and readers will have no problem being swept up from page one. There is something in this book for almost everyone. Ages 9 and up.
Sep 25, 2012 Una713 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is amazing. Clover really gets a taste of adventure once she discovers the secret of the cottage. The witch's character is really well developed, and her character is hysterical. One of the greatest tools that the author uses, is making the different chapters in different places, and in the end, the people from both settings com together for the epic final battle.
Jun 19, 2014 Sharon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Amusing and witty, almost reads like an old familiar book even on the first read. The author manages to be personable without overdoing it, and to use some fairly typical characters and turns of events without being the least bit boring. She also seems to have a love/hate relationship with cats--sort of a realist cat lover--that she draws on to add some extra depth to the main story line.
Kibbie Jensen
Cute book but really slow going, I'm hoping that there will be more adventures now that we have been introduced to the characters.... the books have got to get more exciting.

I read this to my daughter who was 5 she stayed about as interested as I did in the book.... about half way through she and I were done but I told her we needed to finish the book. I'm glad we did.
Oct 09, 2009 Tracie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: elem
Clover Twig is my new favorite book character! Two young children, Clover, sensible and orderly, and Wilf, clumsy but well-meaning, become friends when they both go to work for a witch. Things get complicated and messy when the witch's evil sister gets involved. Fun for adults and kids alike.
Renee Wallace
Jun 28, 2009 Renee Wallace rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Clover Twig is an appealing heroine; she is brave, forthright, determined, and independent. She also knows how to keep rules, and when to break them.
This is a fun read for middle-to-upper elementary ages. I hope Ms. Umansky gives us more Clover, and soon!
Jan 11, 2010 Bridget rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It wasn't a bad story and parts of it really made me laugh or chuckle, but it took some time to get into the writer's style. I think I'll recommend it to the kids, but I'll have to warn them to read in a little farther than normal before they decide whether to finish.
Sep 08, 2015 Amanda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars. I really liked this book - the writing was clever and interesting, the story was similar to others but not so similar that it felt like a retelling. It might be a little too long for the intended audience, but the pages turned very quickly :)
Mar 06, 2014 Cera rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful adventure of a young girl how becomes the house girl for a witch. It is full of quirky adventures and fun characters. It has some interesting twists and turns. I look forward to finding the next book.
Theo kids
Oct 14, 2014 Theo kids rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book had it all - a plucky heroine who washes windows, an evil witch nursing an old grudge, a hapless, awkward boy who may become an unlikely hero, even a briefly brilliant cat! An absolute pleasure to read.
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