Graphic Novel Review: Roald Dahl’s The Witches: The Graphic Novel adapted and illustrated by Pénélope Bagieu
Posted on February 11, 2021 at 9:38 am by Gene Ambaum
Roald Dahl’s The Witches: The Graphic Novel adapted and illustrated by Pénélope Bagieu. Translated from French by Montana Kane. Scholastic Graphix, 2020. 9781338677447. 304pp.
A young boy who has just lost his parents lives with his grandma, who can’t give up her cigars. She tells him a story from her childhood, about a friend who fell victim to a witch, and it’s terrifying. So she teaches him to distinguish witches from normal women: they have claws with wrinkly fingers, they’re bald, and they hate kids. This does not set the boy’s mind at ease. When grandma isn’t feeling well (clearly because of her smoking, though she denies it), the two set off for a few days at a seaside hotel, which is, of course, where a convention of witches is secretly gathering to hear their leader’s plan to rid England of all children in a year. Then they discover the boy, who is accidentally listening in.
This is a wonderfully silly, faithful adaptation of Dahl’s book that won’t sit well with anyone who has an aversion to mice or rats. I look forward to tales of those trying to have it removed from kids sections of libraries, too, because of all of the smoking (which clearly isn’t good for you) — I hope it ends up on all the banned books lists next year, and that it stays in print as long as Dahl’s original novel.