I'm trying to identify a book written prior to the 1980's, about a child who finds a witch and then has an adventure with her. The witch teaches her how to use plants to heal and then, I believe, they fight some grumpy old man. It was illustrated beautifully and I remember the witch having very long black hair.

There was a poem in the book it reads.

Under moon and under star, the wind blows where the birch trees are.
Springtime earth waits for the rain and spring will.come to earth again.

I think the witch was discovered in the child's cellar.

The cover of the book was pale blue but my copy had lost its dust jacket.

The witch was beautiful, the illustrations quite stylized but serious, not cartoony. In fact the tone of the book was rather serious.

  • 2
    If you haven't already, can I suggest you take a look at this guide to see if you can edit in any more details? You're off to a good start but we could use a little more.
    – Edlothiad
    Commented Jul 3, 2018 at 13:28
  • To spare others the effort of checking, I'll note I just tried searching Google Books for various substrings of the poem (in case any phrasing was misremembered). No luck.
    – Jacob C.
    Commented Jul 3, 2018 at 19:08
  • sacred-texts.com/neu/lfb/re/refb13.htm check this one, please.
    – jo1storm
    Commented Jul 3, 2018 at 21:20

1 Answer 1


After a long search, I think I found it: Lizzie Dripping by Helen Cresswell.

No-one in the village believes that Lizzie's seen a witch! But Lizzie doesn't care because she knows that in all Little Hemlock there's no one half as interesting as this witch - and besides it makes life far more exciting to have such an unusual friend.

Blue cover, the original was published in 1973. Check it out.

Lizzie Dripping front cover

  • I've edited this so the image is included in the post now, though the link to Google Books is still around (inline to the text). I've also inlined the link to the book and formatted the quote so it appears as a quote. These make it easier to see what is what and easier to read.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Commented Jul 4, 2018 at 12:49

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