Roald Dahl

The Witches

Sections: Information | Description | Reviews | Awards | ArticlesCriticism and Analysis | Fun Stuff | Teacher Ideas | Covers | CatalanChinese, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Norwegian, RussianSpanish, and Vietnamese Covers


  • First editions:
    • Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1983, USA.
    • Jonathan Cape, 1983, Great Britain.
  • Illustrated by: Quentin Blake
  • Censorship:
    • Challenged in Spencer, Wisconsin because “it desensitizes children to crime related to witchcraft.”
  • Connections:
    • The protagonist’s two white mice are named William and Mary, the same as the (human) couple in “William and Mary”
  • Buy this book:


This is not a fairy tale. This is about real witches.

Grandmamma loves to tell about witches. Real witches are the most dangerous of all living creatures on earth. There’s nothing they hate so much as children, and they work all kinds of terrifying spells to get rid of them. Her grandson listens closely to Grandmamma’s stories—but nothing can prepare him for the day he comes face-to-face with The Grand High Witch herself!



  • New York Times Outstanding Books Award (USA 1983)
  • Whitbread Award (UK 1983)
  • Federation of Children’s Book Groups Award (UK 1983)


Criticism and Analysis

Fun Stuff

The Witches Quiz


Teacher Ideas


Catalan Covers – Les bruixes

Chinese Covers

French Covers – Sacrées Sorcières

German Covers – Hexen Hexen

Hebrew Covers

Hindi Covers

Norwegian Covers – Heksene

Russian Covers – Ведьмы

Spanish Covers – Las brujas

Vietnamese Covers – Phù Thủy, Phù Thủy