Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Witch's Guide to Cooking with Children” as Want to Read:
The Witch's Guide to Cooking with Children
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Witch's Guide to Cooking with Children

(UNITED STATES OF GRIMM series by Keith McGowan #1)

3.40  ·  Rating details ·  899 ratings  ·  235 reviews
When Sol and Connie Blink move to Grand Creek, one of the first people to welcome them is an odd older woman, Fay Holaderry, and her friendly dog, Swift, who carries a very strange bone in his mouth. Sol knows a lot more than the average eleven-year-old, so when he identifies the bone as a human femur, he and Connie begin to wonder if their new neighbor is up to no good. I ...more
Hardcover, 180 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by Henry Holt Books for Young Readers (first published August 1st 2009)
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 The Witch's Guide to Cooking with Children, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Witch's Guide to Cooking with Children

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.40  · 
Rating details
 ·  899 ratings  ·  235 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Nov 06, 2009 rated it liked it
What if the witch from Hansel and Gretel did not die in the oven? What if she's now an ordinary old woman, living in a suburb (which was once a deep wood) with her little dog Swift, who is carrying a bone in his mouth that eleven-year old Sol identifies as a human femur? Sol and his younger sister have an oddly indifferent father and a not-really-very-nice step-mother, but surely that's just coincidence. A creepy retelling of the fairy tale, with parts told from the witch's point of view. Bonus ...more
SheriC (PM)
This is a revision of Hansel and Gretel, in a modern setting. A brother and sister fight off the witch who eats children. The witch no longer lives in a gingerbread house in the woods. Her woods have all be cut down and the city has grown up around it, so she now lives in an apartment building and accepts donations of from parents who are annoyed by their children. It’s a cute idea, but the story is a little muddled by seemingly pointless additional characters and the writing is not terribly eng ...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
I picked this up because it was recommended to readers who enjoyed A Tale Dark & Grimm on Amazon. I loved the humor and the quirky twist on the fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel in A Tale Dark and Grimm, and I just plain love fairy tales, so I am looking for innovative, interesting retellings of these classic stories. I'm glad my library had this on audio. It was a fun and quick read, about 3 hours (It took me longer because I listened in spurts).

Initially, I was very drawn in. The characters
Aug 21, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2010
This book had such great potential, but I really didn't like it. First off, I am going to guess that the author did some research about air pressure, so why would he put the air pressure as station pressure rather than adjusted sea level pressure? This would be much more useful to the budding scientist. And, since Sol and Connie lived by the mountains, why was the station pressure so low? I guess this part would only bother a meteorologist. Second, I felt like the forgiveness idea was treated so ...more
Sep 10, 2008 rated it liked it
If you like Roald Dahl's books, you'll like this one. This is a darkly hilarious story. The two kids at the center of the story were adorable, and a bit eccentric, just like every other person in the town it seemed. I was hooked from the very first page.
Aug 21, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-read
I tried to like this one and finished it soon but I couldn't enjoy to read it. Retelling Hansel and gratel in modern era, buth both character little annoying.
Hafsah Faizal
Mar 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
This review was written by my 10 year old sister!

Eleven year-old Solomon and eight year-old Constance Blinks, Sol and Connie for short, have just moved into their new house. That's where they meet old and odd Fay Holaderry and her friendly dog Swift. Swift carries a very strange, eerie-looking bone in his mouth. At first Fay seems like a normal old woman, even if she's slightly odd, so who cares? That's before they stumble upon her diary. Can Sol and Connie figure out what old Fay Holaderry i
Dana Wright
Sep 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book is a Texas Bluebonnet and I wanted to see what everyone was talking about. It was great! A worthwhile book for my witchy fiction and nookbook collection!
Robyn Hawk
Aug 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult, reviews
How can you resist - The Witch's Guide to Cooking with Children? It brings to mind the old WC Fields adage - when asked if he liked children, Fields purportedly answered, Yes - with a little mustard and relish!

All joking aside - this book is being touted as a lot of things...a modern version of the Hansel & Gretel tale, garnering comparisons to Roald Dahl's The Witches, and the tone of a Lemony Snicket narration.

The really great part is that kids will read and love it - it is a quick witty
Wendi Lau
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ana Mardoll
Dec 27, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ana-reviewed
The Witch's Guide to Cooking with Children / 978-0-8050-8668-3

I love redone fairy tales of all kinds, from the whimsical to the dark, and I love children's books in general, so this book seemed like a no-brainer for me. Unfortunately, however, I simply did not enjoy reading this book, though I cannot say for certain whether a much younger audience might find the novel more palatable.

"The Witch's Guide" carries with it a strong whiff of the amateur about it. Author McGowan seems to be aware of th
Jun 16, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: age-middlegrade, 2010
I read a review of this at Booklist Online, and the title grabbed my attention.

The witch who eats children, made famous by the fairy tale Hansel & Gretel, is alive and well and living in a city. She's writing a book about her various modern methods of capturing children, since there are no woods anymore for parents to "lose" their children in. Some examples include dumpsters outside of movie theaters marked "Donations" and having child-hating helpers such as baby-sitters and librarians to b
Sandra Stiles
I absolutely loved this book! For those of you who like the story of Hansel and Gretel, you will love this new spin on it.
The witch, Fay Holaderry has adapted her lifestyle to the present time, living like any elderly person in any community. But, looks can be deceiving.

Sol and Connie Blink have just moved to Grand Creek. They have a lovely set of parents who don't really seem to care about them. The reasons, and there are many, become clear as you read the book. Sol is a science nerd. His youn
Jan 14, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kirsten Murphy
Jul 11, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: bluebonnet-2011
I was looking forward to reading this book because I do so much with fairy tales and fractured fairy tales with my students and as a school, we LOVE this genre. So, when I realized that a fractured fairy tale version of Hansel and Gretel was on this year's Bluebonnet list, I was excited.

Unfortunately, my excitement was short-lived, as this book was a terrible disappointment to me. It was just not what I expected or wanted and I will not be really pushing it this year (although I know that a lot
This re-telling of Hansel and Gretel is quirky, charming and smart. Hansel and Gretel are now Connie, a bit of a trouble maker, and Sol, her science nerd older brother. Soon after their family moves to a new town, the siblings meet neighbor Fay Holaderry and her dog, Swift, who's nibbling on a bone. They immediately get creepy vibes off Holaderry and then later determine, after a trip to the library, that the bone Swift had was a human femur. While I waited to see if Connie and Sol would land in ...more
Bryan Ball
Mar 01, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: fairy-tales, witches
The title and cover, I must admit, sold me on this book. What an excellent concept-- a fractured fairy tale version of Hansel and Gretel from (mostly, possibly) the witch's point of view-- the witch's modern point of view, having lived for centuries after the Hansel and Gretel encounter.

There is much charm to this book. Some particular children will be enamored with the dark, dry, very much Roald Dahl tone the narrative has. However, while this book is very much in Mr. Dahl's tradition, it do
Apr 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-movie
I liked the exciting parts!
I liked the end part and the middle and 4 stars for the beginning because it was only a little bit exciting at the beginning, and it was more exciting in the middle and last.
I would give it more stars but 5 is all it can go up to.
(Odin adds, "I liked the scary parts!" We've read this twice, it's a great book for Loki, who has always been fascinated with the Hansel and Gretel story. This modern day version is great.)
Natasha North
Mar 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: juvenile-fiction
I'm feeling somewhere between 3.5 - 4 stars for this one. Points for the delightfully dark tone and for clever, unflappable Sol. The illustrations were pleasing enough if you only looked at a few, as the children's expressions never really changed, whether they were in mortal danger or meeting a dog. Overall, a unique re-imagining.
Jul 25, 2009 rated it liked it
You know the witch from Hansel & Gretel? Well, apparently, she is alive and well, and eating children who've been dropped off by their annoyed-to-the-breaking-point parents. Sol & Connie are exceptionally clever children, though, so they just might survive.

I have a feeling this will be challenged somewhere, once upon a time. But I don't think it's really objectionable, just dark humor.
This twist on the Hansel and Gretel story starts out good; unfortunately, it doesn't develop into much. I also was not happy with the fact that there were few adults to like or trust in the story; especially with a 'witch' who disposes of children around there should be many adults ready to be heroes, and there were none here. A bit of a disappointment.
Oct 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
This book was extremely clever and fun to read--my only complaint was that I wanted it to go on for much longer! Anyone who is a fan of Roald Dahl or Lemony Snicket would love it. I look forward to reading the continuing adventures of Sol and Connie as soon as the next book comes out.
Dec 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I love children. Eating them that is! has to be my all time favorite first line of a book, chapter, what ever. It is wonderful to read excerpts of this book aloud to children! This book will not disappoint!
Sep 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful children's book based on the Hansel and Gretal storyline. On 2011 Bluebonnet list.
AGM Libraryscience
Jul 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
loved Fay Holaderry's journal entries where she states why she finds herself "cooking with children"
Mrs. Atterberry
Sep 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This clever book keeps you on your toes until the end. I love that you get to know what the witch is thinking, too.
Courtney Johnson
May 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It's a re-telling of the classic Hansel and Gretel. It is really short and funny. I loved it!
Sep 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This was an excellent book. I loved it. This book is very fast paced and if you think it is like Hansel and Grettel, then you are very wrong.
Jan 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
great start...realistic set up...can makes anyone's hair stand up!
perfect book for book talk.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Duchess of Whimsy
  • The Halloween Kid
  • The Hallelujah Flight
  • Serendipity Market
  • Leaving the Bellweathers
  • The Very Best Pumpkin
  • The Case of the Lost Boy (The Buddy Files, #1)
  • Julia Gillian And the Quest for Joy
  • My Rotten Life (Nathan Abercrombie, Accidental Zombie, #1)
  • I'm Big!
  • Man Gave Names to All the Animals
  • Rescue Bunnies
  • What REALLY Happened to Humpty?: From the Files of a Hard-Boiled Detective
  • The White Horse Trick (New Policeman, #3)
  • Under Town (Edgar & Ellen, #3)
  • The Case of the Case of Mistaken Identity (Brixton Brothers, #1)
  • AlphaOops: H Is for Halloween
  • Any Which Wall
See similar books…
For info on me and my books, please visit me at I'm the author of The Witch's Guide to Cooking with Children and The Witch's Curse. You can also watch an interview that aired on Ohio NPR here:

Other books in the series

UNITED STATES OF GRIMM series by Keith McGowan (2 books)
  • The Witch's Curse
“I love children. Eating them, that is.” 2 likes
More quotes…