This is, as Ibbotson would say, one of her “rompy” books. You’ve got a wizard who spends his days smiting and blighting but feels he ought to marry and produce an heir, so naturally he holds a contest to find the blackest, most evil witch around. Unfortunately, the pickings are slim and include the sweetest, whitest witch you’ve ever met. Throw in an orphan, an earthworm acting as a witch’s familiar, a baby Kraken, assorted ogres and you’ve got a deliciously rompy story that manages to be funny, gross, and sweet all at once. Definitely recommended to budding fantasy fans or older readers who want something light.