Kids Review: Daniela the Pirate and the Witch Philomena (Susanna Isern)



About This Book:

When Daniela the pirate and her crew start to follow a treasure map, strange things begin to happen to them… Could they be the work of Philomena, the fearful witch from Spooky Island who can’t stand laughter and happiness?

The third book in the popular Daniela the Pirate series delivers adventure on every page as Daniela and her crew try to stop Philomena casting her terrible spells.


*Review Contributed by Olivia Farr, Staff Reviewer*

Adventure-filled Picture Book
DANIELA THE PIRATE AND THE WITCH PHILOMENA is a sequel to an adventure-filled picture book read. Philomena the Witch is constantly causing trouble for others, including making a volcano explode over a small village, causing a wind to take away Daniela’s map, turning out the lighthouse light, and other dangerous things. When Daniela gets to the small village, she finds it ruined by the volcano, and a child tells her that it is all Philomena’s doing. Daniela finds her, sneaks in, and destroys her crystal ball, taking Philomena captive as a prisoner.

When they find out the reason for Philomena’s misdeeds, Daniela reconsiders and decides on a different course of action.

What I loved: This was an adventure-filled picture book read that takes children on a new adventure with Daniela the Pirate. The book ultimately has a theme of kindness and friendship saving the day, which is a great lesson for young readers. The characters and scenes are captured well on each page with full page detailed illustrations.

What left me wanting more: Although the reader knows Philomena was behind the destruction and danger, Daniela only knew that she was accused, sneaks into her house, breaks her crystal ball, and takes her prisoner. This felt too authoritarian, and I would have preferred if Daniela had started with using her words and understanding rather than only getting there after Philomena was all tied up and prisoner, after the home invasion and destruction. I also felt a bit uneasy about the level of destruction that Philomena wreaks and would have preferred it to be less intense, though at least we see the people leaving the village of the volcano and luckily no one was seemingly hurt in the book.

Final verdict: DANIELA THE PIRATE AND THE WITCH PHILOMENA is ultimately a story about kindness and friendship with fun illustrations and an adventure-filled story.


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