WENN HEXEN HEXEN.. Spooky, silly and suspenseful children's books on witches in German for all ages
Halloween is up end of the month and all the spirits and supernatural will descend again on us. Among them also witches! Witches have a great appeal for kids of all ages - and a long tradition in the German children's book literature. There are wonderful mildly spooky and silly picture books, magical and more suspenseful stories for the older kids, celebrating defying norms and embracing nature. Here are our favorites for the magical season and all year round!
DIE NEUGIERIGE KLEINE HEXE
The little witch together with her cat lands on the attic of a house. Who lives here? They decide to investigate the house. Unfortunately the witch broomstick breaks. Maybe somebody can mend it?
In every room we find a different witch, the music witch, who makes wonderful sounds, the kitchen witch that cooks delicious food, the bedroom witch... And luckily also the tinkering witch! Maybe she can take care of the broom?
The witches are hidden behind flaps. Warm illustrations full of detail make this a charming board and picture book.
A modern classic from Belgium, in print for 30 years.
2 years and up
The witch is so excited - she has a date with the ogre! She takes a lot time picking the right dress to look her best. On her way to see the ogre, she meets animals in the wood. The squirrel, the rabbit, the fox and the mouse all find the witch needs to improve her looks and make suggestions. Who wants warts and bent noses? So she performs her magic and gradually changes. And changes some more. When she arrives at the ogre's, she looks so different that the ogre doesn't recognize her and chases her away... She takes a look in the mirror and realizes: she is not herself anymore!
Graphic bold illustrations and a good slightly cheeky wit makes this picture book a fun and spooky read with an important message.
4 years and up
Katja Alves / Marta Balmaseda
DIE KLEINE EULENHEXE
Willkommen im Zauberwald
Little Witch Petunia Olivia von und zu Nadelbaum is somewhat surprised when one day she finds seven owls in front of her door. Her aunt sent them with a message: if Petunia manages to tame these wild owls into behaving well mannered ones, she will get her highly coveted Owl Diploma! Obviously Petunia wants nothing more. But it is not an easy feat: Her vacuum cleaner is very jealous and the owls are truly a wild bunch.
Short chapters make this book a great first read aloud, A story about friendship with some unforeseeable twists and tweaks.
5 years and up
There is also a follow-up beginning reader book for 1st graders.
DIE KLEINE HEXE LAKRITZE
The little witch Lakritze has to go to school. It is a terribly long way, so she has to get up terribly early. Often times she oversleeps. So the teacher gives her a noisy, annoying alarm clock. Thanks to this she gets up in time, but now realizes she doesn't feel like walking so much. So she does her magical thing and conjures up a broom. Unfortunately her magical skills are still a little limited...
In short sentences and simple language the literary Swiss author Eveline Hasler in this classic tells about every day life situations all kids will be able to relate to with a magical twist. Perfect for beginning readers (or as a read aloud for bilinguals.)
6 years and up
DIE KLEINE HEXE
First published in 1957 this is a classic about the kindest witch ever.
Once upon a time there was a little witch that was only 127 years old, who in a small witch house in the forest, together with her raven Abraxas. Despite practicing witch craft every day for six hours, her abilities were limited, she was young after all. And so she was not invited to the Walpurgis Night to dance, only the older witches were. The little Witch wanted so much to be part of this, she sneaked in despite of her raven Abraxas warnings. Of course, the older witches discovered her and as a punishment the witch has to walk home and become a good witch in one year, when she has to show her witchcraft at the Blocksberg.
However, what is a good witch? To the older witches a good witch is one proficient at witchcraft, harming humans and others. The little witch however during this year helps others, punishes villains, saves animals... Will she be accepted by the older witches? And does she really want to in the end?
6 years and up
KNOBI UND VAMPIR
In the magical garden of Witch Agnes the vegetables all have various talents. Little Garlic, however, is the anxious and shy one. When Witch Agnes and her magical helping vegetables find out that a vampire has moved in to the neighboring castle, all agree: Garlic has to confront him! After all everybody knows that garlic protects from vampires.
With everybody relying on her, garlic reluctantly sets out to overcome her fears, with Celery on her side to fight the vampire...
A whimsical, cheerful, fast paced graphic novel.
7 years and up
HEXE LILLI UND DER KLEINE DELFIN
Hexe Lilli is a normal girl like any other. She has a brother and a working mom. But one day Lilli finds a book with magical powers and she is a witch. And somehow she always ends up in some adventure.
A highly popular series designed for beginning readers from the start
In this book Lilli conjures up a real living dolphin in her brother's paddling pool. Can they somehow manage to get him home unnoticed?
7 years and up
GUT GESCHRAUBT IST BESSER ALS SCHIEF GEHEXT
Ever heard of a witch not into witchcraft? Henriette is one such witch. She very much prefers real life, inventing new devices or repairing anything that broke - and she is really good at it! Most of the time she somehow gets by without being amazing at magical stunts. Unfortunately every seven years she has to take a witch exam otherwise she looses all her powers. She already missed the last one, so off she goes on her self-made flying vacuum cleaner (no magic involved!). Her aunt Martha is not sure she will pass the test, so follows her. to help...
A colorfully illustrated chapter book on a girl and witch who learns to do things her own way.
Works well as a read-aloud, but also great for reading alone, as chapters are short and the pages have the right amount of text.
7 years and up
VERHEXT UND FESTGEKLEBT
Petronella Apfelmus is an apple witch, she lives up in an apple tree and protects nature and in particular old apple types. To do so, she has previously chased away people from the old house next door. And she is determined to do the same with the new family, Familie Kuchenbrand, that moves in!
One day though she forgets her magical witch leather in the tree and the twin siblings of that family climb up into her little home. And she realizes, she likes them. And they need her help!
A real written chapter book about friendship (albeit an unlikely one) and the preservation of nature.
It works really well as a readaloud for children 5 years and older, or as a chapter book starting at age 8.
And if you and your kids like it, there are 8 more volumes.
DAS MAGIMOXISCHE HEXENHOTEL
AUCH HEXEN BRAUCHEN URLAUB!
A five star hotel just for witches, with a theme: explore humans! - opens next door the family Mittelbach, the tidiest and cleanest family on earth. Of course, humans should not learn what kind of hotel it is. But it seems Klara, the 10 year old daughter, understands the witch language. And soon she is friends with witch girl Rosalie.
Soon there are all kinds of mix ups and chaos between the witch world and the human world...
Told in short sentences it is a fun page-turner, a great series for girls 8 years and up on friendship, tolerance and courage can help in life just as much as magic to achieve something.
Roald Dahl / Penelope Bagieu
Another hotel full of witches, - but a truly spooky read is offered in this graphic novel adaption of Roald Dahl's book: A eight year old orphaned boy grows up with his unconventional and fun grandmother, who tells him stories, true stories as she claims, of child hating witches. And she gives him all clues how to tell a witch. They are bald and wear gloves to hide their claws..
Sure enough the boy at his next hotel stay runs into the big witch congress who are planning to turn all kids into mice...
9 years and up
EIN MAEDCHEN NAMENS WILLOW
Aunt Alwina has died and left behind a house in the woods to Alwina's dad. They move there and when Willow finds a witch book in a hut in the forest, she learns she is a witch herself.
But the forest is in danger: a real estate mogul wants to buy it, destroy to build a mall. And Willow's dad wants to sell it to him.
It is Willow's quest to fnd three more girls with witch powers to turn this around and protect the forest and animals and life there..
How can she find these girls?
A beautiful volume 1 to a series on magic, friendship and the preservation of nature.
10 years and up
Marie Deplechin / Magali Le Huche
Witches go through puberty as well. And they have moms that are just plainly annoying and embarrassing. 11 year old Gruena knows all about it. Her mom Ursula wants her to learn to be a witch! Gruena on the other hand wants to be as different from her mom as possible and nothing to do with witchery.
So her grandma takes over and explains: Gruena can be a witch on her own terms, she doesn't have to become like her mom.
A French graphic novel with very fresh, adoring graphics - and truly relatable!
10 years and up
When Clara turns 12, a typical teenager with some insecurities and self-doubts, when a black cat attacks her and she learns she is a wild witch, just like her aunt.Her mother is not thrilled at all about this. But when Clara and her friend are in danger, she brings her to the aunt, so she can learn all she needs to learn as a witch. Unfortunately Clara has a strong and evil adversary, cruel Chimaera. She insists Clara has to take the very dangerous fire test...
A truly suspenseful read with a very likeable main character, part one of a series.
11 years and up
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