Wobble, The Witch Cat


I don't know why, but I don't think I have never posted about my love for Roger Duvoisin before.  I love Roger Duvoisin!  He is one of my favorite illustrators of children's books.  [See Pinterest board here.]  I first knew his work through The Happy Lion books, on which he collaborated with his wife, Louise Fatio. As an adult, I fell in love with Petunia and Veronica, and his Caldecott-winning illustrations for Alvin Tresselt's White Snow, Bright Snow are stunning.  

Yet my first Roger Duvoisin post is about a book I found just this week.  Wobble, The Witch Cat [William Morrow & Co., 1958] is a cute little Halloween story by Mary Calhoun.  I was exploring our library's website, trying to find old Halloween books I hadn't heard of.  This was one of several I requested from storage.  I found a few listings online for reissues up through 1968, but I think this one has been out of print for a long, long time.


This is Maggie, "a fat chuckling old lady with short, gray hair."  Maggie, we are told, is a very good witch and Wobble, her cat, "was as cross as he was black."  He is cross because last Halloween, Maggie got a new broom.  This broom had a very slippery handle, and poor Wobble fell off.  The other witch cats made fun of him, and now that Halloween was approaching, Wobble had become a very grumpy kitty indeed, running under Maggie's feet, knocking the jack-o'-lantern off the window, and spitting at the poor witch.




Then Wobble thinks of a wonderful idea.  He throws away the offending broomstick!  Now he won't have to worry about falling...  but what will Maggie do?



Well, the broom shared the closet with the vacuum cleaner.  Oh, those magical newfangled appliances!  





As you can see, the book has a happy ending.  The vacuum bag turns out to be an ideal seat for a witch cat.






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Comments

  1. Great art indeed! Love the cat, love the witch! Very cool ending too. What an awesome book!

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    1. It's very cute. It isn't his best art, but it works for the cute, old-fashioned story. :o)

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  2. Strangely I don't think I have not seen his illustrations before but his name sounds really familiar! Maybe I have seen his books but this one is new to me!

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    1. He is best-known for Petunia, The Happy Lion, and White Snow, Bright Snow. Sadly and surprisingly, it looks as though many of his books are currently out-of-print, although many may be found via Amazon or used book sites. I've checked many out from the library.

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  3. This looks adorable, my little guy would love it. I wonder if I could find a copy online somewhere? I've never heard of Duvoisin before - so happy to have been told about him. Thanks.

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    1. Duvoisin is wonderful and trust me - this is hardly the best example of his art! My favorite is Petunia's Treasure, where his goose, Petunia, finds a book. I found copies of this one online, but it's rare enough that it looks like even here in the States, copies start at $25.

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