Tilly Witch

Tilly Witch
Author Don Freeman
Illustrator Don Freeman
Genre Fantasy picture book
Publisher Viking Press
Preceded by Space Witch

Tilly Witch is a children's picture book, authored and illustrated by Don Freeman, and published in 1969 by Viking Press. Tilly Witch was republished in the 1970s by Puffin Books, one of several books by Don Freeman in the Picture Puffin series, including Corduroy and its sequel A Pocket for Corduroy, Beady Bear, The Paper Party and Will's Quill.

Plot summary

Tilly Ipswitch is a witch and the Queen of Halloween. One night, she tries playing at being happy, reasoning that children use Halloween to play at being evil witches. Unfortunately for her, she is unable to stop being happy once she begins.

Tilly Witch then goes out on a quest to cure herself of her happiness. She visits a witch doctor, who prescribes a refresher course at Miss Fitch's Finishing School for Witches, Tilly's old school. Miss Fitch is shocked to see her former best pupil so cheery. When Tilly adds sugar and chocolate to the witch's brew, the teacher makes her sit in the corner wearing a dunce's cap.

Eventually the thought that children might stop being scared of her and so stop believing in Halloween so enrages Tilly that she returns to her old self. She celebrates her return to normalcy by scaring her own cat with a pumpkin mask.


  • Tilly Ispwitch: the Queen of Halloween
  • Kit: Tilly's pet cat
  • Doctor Weegee: Witch doctor on the island of Wahoo
  • Miss Fitch: Tilly's teacher, the proprietor of Miss Fitch's Finishing School for Witches


Instead of the traditional broomstick, Tilly Ipswitch uses a surfboard with a whisk broom for a skeg to sail across the sky.


Tilly Ipswitch first appears in Don Freeman's Space Witch, originally published in 1959 and later as a Picture Puffin. In this book the Queen of Halloween takes Halloween to the stars.

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