Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Witch for a Week” as Want to Read:
Witch for a Week
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Witch for a Week

(Elsie Pickles #1)

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  98 ratings  ·  32 reviews
When clever, unflappable Elsie offers to house-sit the mysterious home of local witch Magenta Sharp, she has no idea what she's getting herself into. Left with a talking raven and a scruffy dog for company, and a book of instruction called Everything You Need to Know, what could possibly go wrong?

With an assortment of weird and wonderful neighbours banging at the door and
Paperback, 182 pages
Published October 5th 2017 by Simon & Schuster UK
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Witch for a Week, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Witch for a Week

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.30  · 
Rating details
 ·  98 ratings  ·  32 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Oct 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Exactly what I needed to get me into the Halloween mood 👻

The story was absolutely adorable and I loved how quirky the characters were, especially Elsie.

Plus, the whole idea to babysit a witch's house sounds so much fun! I'd love to do that if it was possible.
Michelle Harrison
I adored this gorgeous, sweet, funny book. It has wonderful characters, plenty of humour and is charmingly illustrated throughout. Elsie Pickles is a likeable, no nonsense girl (with excellent customer service to boot)! It's so much fun, and I'm looking forward to the next one.
Oct 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ever so often something from my unsolicited-gifted-by-publisher-TBR-pile will call out to me and despite my other TBR-piles “technically” having priority. It somehow ends up in my hands when I hadn’t really planned on reading said book… Witch for a Week was exactly that book. I received it as a surprise and put it to one side but it looked so cute and I really wanted something cute to read so I ended up sitting down and turning the first page.

A couple of hours later the book was read and I was h
A delightful, magical book with a fabulous main character who will definitely be a witch one day (and not just for a week).

This was just a book I had to try out when one of my library's added it to its collection. I have to say I was first and foremost pulled in by the art. I just adore Ashley King's art, and this one seemed to be full of them. But after reading this one, I have to say the story and the characters also captured me.

Meet Elsie Pickles, she lives in a tiny village and her life is
Jannah (Cloud Child)
Aimed at 5-8 years I think, though readable by older. Very cute and engaging with lovely illustrations. Elsie is a capable sweet protagonist.
However it was just too..cute? Missing that Kaye Umansky humor that makes me snort and giggle.. I think maybe because it was aimed at a younger audience than usual..
Suzanne Bhargava
Mar 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pre-teen-fiction
A delightfully funny and sweet book about a little girl who house-sits for a witch. Featuring: a grumpy raven, a loyal dog, a vain woodcutter, kleptomaniac weregrannies, a love potion, an endless supply of cake, and a storm in a teacup.

Really good fun.
Katy Noyes
Oct 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Brilliantly magical chapter book for fans of The Worst Witch

For those not old enough for Harry Potter, fans of magical tales, here's a great choice - Elsie, part of a noisy family, working in their shop, meets a local witch. Her customer service skills impress the witch, who offers her employment as a housesitter while she goes away for a week.

Elsie takes up the offer, hoping for quiet time for reading and maybe even learning a little magic. But a talking cat, a lovelorn neighbour, some local ha
Mar 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Rachel by: Tarni (lefthandlibrary)
A fun, delightfully and absolutely charming read.
Andrew Davies
This is my second Kaye Umansky review, and in contrast to her EYFS/KS1 picture book 'I Don't Like Gloria', 'Witch for a Week' is a chunkier 180-page chapter book more suited to CLPE-scale moderately fluent or fluent LKS2 readers able to take on texts like this as independent reading. Elsie Pickles leads a boring life helping in her dad's Emporium selling odds and ends to the occasional customer in the dull town of Smallbridge, until Magenta Sharp literally blows in and gives her a commission she ...more
Lizzie (Littlehux) Huxley-Jones
Some of my favourite stories come from the chapter books range, often known as 5-7 years in most bookstores. They’re so often silly and full of heart. I noticed as a bookseller the prominence of witchy books in this section – I had both The Worst Witch books by Jill Murphy and Pongwiffy by Kaye Umansky as a child, and while working Sibeal Pounder’s Witch Wars series was gaining traction. The latest in this trend is the first in a new series from Pongwiffy author Kaye Umansky.

Witch for a Week is
Oct 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Witch for a week by Kaye Umansky was a Goodreads win

I read this book in one session – with a smile on my face throughout!

I found it a charming, magical story full of humour and quirky characters. Elsie helps in the family shop which has sensible but amusing guidelines for customer service. (Keep people chatting and they just buy something) Nothing much is sold and she would really like to have a new pair of shoes. Along comes Magenta a witch, who seems to know Elsie’s deepest wishes. She is look
The Librarian Witch
This was such a cute, fun, easy read.
Filled with magic, adventure, humor and friendship, this lovely little book is a fantastic quick read to snuggle up with on a gloomy afternoon.

The fabulous illustrations that accompany the story are absolutely adorable and make this tale even more enjoyable to read!
They mange to make an already fun book even more fun and magical.

Though the target audience is obviously a lot younger than I am (unfortunately), I also enjoyed this book immensely and found myse
Mortisha Cassavetes
Oct 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2017
What an amazing Halloween read for me! This book made it to my Favorites of 2017 list and the illustrations are enchanting and add a dash of merriment. I just adored this story and I can't wait to read the next book. It follows a girl named Elsie Pickles and her adventures in finding herself. She is asked to come and house sit for a witch, Magenta, that is going out of town for a week and is promised lots of gold to help her family's shop so she can not refuse. There she finds magic. I don't wan ...more
Christina Reid
Dec 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was such a fun, fast-paced and engaging read! Elsie Pickles lives in Smallbridge, so named because it is small and has a bridge, where people go to bed early because there's nothing else to do. Until, one day, the local witch needs a caretaker for her tower in the deep, dark forest, while she goes to visit her sister and Elsie decides to give it a go.
This story would be a great read for anyone who has previously enjoyed Witch Wars, How to Catch a Witch, Mirror Magic or similar adventures. L
A delightful, quick read ideal for Y3-4 - haven't we all wanted to poke around a witch's house? Elsie is quick and funny; all she wanted was a quiet week caretaking witch Magenta's tower and poking through her library, but she finds there's an awful lot more than bricks and mortar to take care of! I love Corbett the Raven as her guide and helper, and the ending is just right. Looking forward to recommending it in the school library!
Miss Morgan
Aug 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Elsie Pickled lives in the small town of Smallbridge where nothing remotely exciting ever happens. When the local witch (Magenta Sharp) asks Elsie to house-sit for her, sensible Elsie soon realises that being a witch for a week is more difficult than she imagined.

A book that will certainly make you laugh! I also adored all of the characters in this book
May 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is such a fun read. With all the right ingredients for a magical children's book - good characters, spells, friendship, a grumpy crow and a rather adorable dog with heaps of fun and bubbling with charm. This is a book that kids, parents and grandparents alike will find it hard not to love. I'm hoping there's more stories to come of Elsie and the magical Magenta Sharp!
Stephen Baird
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Elsie is chosen to look after Magenta’s Witch Tower for a week whilst Magenta goes to see her sister. Elsie doesn’t realise why in the beginning but sees it as a good opportunity to get away from the domestic chaos of her house where her younger brothers tend to chew on anything, including to her dismay, books.

With a lovely cast of supporting characters we follow Elsie through her discovery of why she was chosen to look after Magenta’s tower.

There are plenty laughs and comedic exchanges througho
Aug 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed the beautiful, delightfully detailed illustrations, and the fun, imaginative story that used a wider range of vocabulary that I’m used to seeing in children’s books of this length (which is great), and the amusing cast of characters. Will definitely be looking for the next one.
Feb 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade
Quick read, lovely story with great characters and fab illustrations. Magic.
Oct 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
What a great children's book. I loved it. Quite a giggle.
Jun 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book didn’t match up to what the blurb said but I enjoyed it anyway! It’s a fun filled story with amazing characters, if you read it I’m sure you’ll love it!🌜🌪🧙♀ ...more
Sapna Menon
Apr 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was such a fun book to read to my kids! Loved the characters and the story... look firward to sequels!
Jul 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved it
One of my top books
Aug 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such an adorable story with lovely characters! Can't wait for book 2!!
May 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Funny quirky story about young Elsie who is very good at customer service but who has the chance to develop her knack for magic when she takes a job as a caretaker for a local witch.
Jun 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sweet & funny wee story. Beautifully illustrated, kept me hooked.
Oct 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I won this book on a goodread giveaway . This is a happy feel good girl power book.Ideal choice
as a alternative Halloween gift and more to the point the kids loved it.
Kayleigh Cyphus
May 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: proofs, signed
I was so excited to get my hands on this one; witches, magic and fun - need I say more?! This book was fantastic, engaging, and I can see why it's lined up to be one of the biggest children's releases this year. Because I received a proof copy, I'm yet to see the finished book with King's illustrations - I honestly can't wait; if his previous books with Sylvia Bishop are anything to go by, we are in for a real treat with this one. Just from the cover image, you can see how he's captured the char ...more
Nov 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens-books
This is a magical book my granddaughter really loved it and read it over two nights. She got in trouble for reading too long at bedtime which tells a story in itself.

Elsie meets a witch in the story who asks her to housesit for a week. Magical adventures happen thanks a few magical characters, Elsie wonders if a few spells she's read could help them all out.

The illustrations were beautiful and overall I loved the book as much as my granddaughter.

Isabella is 7 years old and found the book fun
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Other books in the series

Elsie Pickles (3 books)
  • Witches (Un)Welcome
  • Wish for a Witch (Elsie Pickles 2)