Better Than

30 gifts for Nov. The Worst Witch Colour Gift Edition by Jill Murphy

Background : Original black and white illustration of Mildred Hubble turning Ethel into a pig. Foreground: Colour cover of The Worst Witch featuring Mildred Hubble in her school uniform riding a broom.

30 gifts for 30 days of November - Day 26

This is the twenty sixth of thirty Better Than a Poke in the Eye recommended gifts for the book lover in your life, even if that book lover is YOU!

Today's recommendation is: The Worst Witch Colour Gift Edition by Jill Murphy

Whilst these are children's books, even now adults who loved this series as a child still read them, and that is why we have included them in this list.

The Worst Witch was one of Rachel's favourite book series whilst growing up, so much so that when we recently cleared out her father's possessions after he died, we found a whole box of Rachel's childhood books that he had kept for her, and The Worst Witch books were amongst them and obviously very well read.

The Worst Witch tells the story of Mildred Hubble and her new best friend Maud trying their very best to get through their first term at Miss Cackle's Academy for Witches. Mildred's clumsiness at being a witch and the trouble it gets her into is the source of much hilarity in these books.

Jill Murphy finished writing The Worst Witch when she was just 18 years old, having started it when she was 15 and in a convent school, but it didn't find a publisher until 6 years later as most publishers deemed the story about witches too scary for the children's market.

There are eight books in the series, the first, The Worst Witch, was published in 1974 with the latest book First Prize for the Worst Witch getting published in 2018.

Each book covers one term at the school. There are two terms each year: the Winter term, from September to January, and the Summer term, from March to July. In First Prize for the Worst Witch, the most recent book, Mildred is in the Summer term of her fourth year.

Jill Murphy illustrated all the books herself, with black and white drawings which are divine and invoke some very special memories for Rachel (and some of her friends too). This particular edition is special as Jill has revisited these drawings and produced full colour versions for this anniversary edition of The Worst Witch.

Some readers may remember some of the live action films, tv series and the stage adaptation of the books. The television film, made by ITV in 1986 starred a cavalcade of well known actors such as Tim Curry, Diana Rigg and Fairuza Balk. It's worth seeking this out and having a watch. Tim Curry is especially creepy as the Grand Wizard

You can purchase it through our online bookshop or through any of our affiliate links.

The Worst Witch Colour Gift Edition by Jill Murphy - R.R.P. £10.99

You can also purchase the rest of The Worst Witch series of books via our bookshop

Published: 26 Nov 2023 10:00
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