Lucke, Deb. Lunch Witch Knee-deep in Niceness. Deb Lucke, Illus. Graphic Novel. Papercutz, 10/2016. 165pp. PB $14.99. 978-1-62991-503-6. OUTSTANDING. GRADES 4-8.
Grunhilda Blackheart—full-time witch and part-time school cafeteria cook—has a problem: her mostly black and crusty heart has a soft spot. Her animal familiars attempt to protect her from the cruel justice of the witchy undead, but when their spell backfires, unleashing a highly contagious fog of positivity, they scarper, leaving Grunhilda to fend off her irate, evil ancestors, restore the balance of despair, and evade the do-gooding efforts of an overzealous boy scout. Witty, deadpan prose is matched perfectly with spectacular illustrations that balance beauty and grime. Soiled brown paper pages are washed with clear inks. After the positivity fog is released, the palette shifts from murky puce and mauve to purples, olives, thunderhead blues, and acid yellows. Active pen-and-ink lines, vaguely reminiscent of William Steig or Jules Feiffer, clearly define shapes. Various sized panels and full-page spreads move the story along. Give this to your graphic novel fans who relish irreverent humor and action.
Melissa McAvoy, Live Oak School