I just found this old, 1966 hardcover far back in a used bookstore.It has no dust jacket so it's a delight to see the title picture.I seldom buy children's books but this title is unique and drew me.It is a worthwhile find.

What's common with many stories is someone in the neighbourhood we consider unfriendly but know nothing about.The kids in this story have never spoken with the lady nor stood up close.That some make games out of approaching her property is also familiar and the targeted person would have to halt the nuisance.We see the perspective of mischievous children first, then narration switches to the single lady.

Her passion for gardening was clear to all but it was her very purpose each day.She also has a pet bird.When she overheard the word 'witch' from neighbours enough times, she wondered if it might indeed apply to her and studied at the library all day.It was amusing to read she squeezed into her best dress and "caused a stir", for she wasn't known to leave her yard and none thought she'd ever been to the library at all.Her reaction to lists of unkind spells is endearing and we find she is quite misunderstood.

When a boy is cornered as she attempts riding a broom, they’re forced into a conversation and she speaks very plainly about what he interrupted.He’s intrigued enough to offer assistance .Thus this witch-in-training reluctantly accepts a trio who genuinely want her to succeed.As an illustrated children's book, it’s short but there's nothing else like it.Felice Holman is gifted.