Alcatoe and the Turnip Child

Writer / Artist
Alcatoe and the Turnip Child
Alcatoe and the Turnip Child review
  • UK publisher / ISBN: Flying Eye Books - 978-1-83874-014-6
  • Release date: 2022
  • UPC: 9781838740146
  • Contains adult content?: no
  • Does this pass the Bechdel test?: yes
  • Positive minority portrayal?: yes
  • CATEGORIES: All-Ages, Fantasy

In his brief biography Isaac Lenkiewicz reveals Alcatoe and the Turnip Child is an attempt to impress his childhood self. His childhood self should beam with pride at what’s a thoroughly engaging all-ages story. It’s magical, it’s adventurous and it’s imaginative.

In Plumtown witches live alongside normal people, somewhat an open secret for the children. Chris, his friend Holly and her older sister Emma find Alcatoe the witch’s hat. It’s clearly marked as such along with a request to return it if found, and the children feel that if they return it Alcatoe will help them beat the bad-tempered Mr. Pokeweed at the forthcoming vegetable festival. She agrees, but has reasons of her own.

Lenkiewicz keeps the drawing simple, but includes spreads to engage the attention of the younger reader for several minutes, such as the wandering way from Alcatoe’s front gate to her front door and the dangers encountered along that route. He also supplies some great funny images, a car with legs and a witch riding a giant pig being two favourites, in what’s a generally good-natured adventure where the danger is minimised. That’s achieved by keeping the people friendly, by and large, and making it clear via the narrative that even Alcatoe has her decent side.

The Turnip Child results from a turnip-enlarging spell changed to cause chaos designed to embarrass another witch. It could have been developed a little more rather than just being the maguffin that transforms the story’s second half into a chase, but that’s not a complaint younger readers will raise, so they’ll take maximum fun from this enjoyable romp.