AGE: 9 up
Zazina is a small witch despatched to save the world. She lands on a Mediterranean beach just as a group of children are trying to drown Zalzal, a dog that bites too much. After saving Zalzal, Zazina gets caught up in a diplomatic ball and is taken in by the American ambassador, Politikop. At the embassy house, Zazina finds a unicorn in the locked attic, long-forgotten and held captive by a family of ghosts and spirits. The unicorn, a prehistoric remnant speaking a dialect of ancient sea-Hebrew, teaches Zazina the art of negotiation (learned by observing Politikop at work), thus enabling her to haggle with the spiritual netherworld for his freedom.
Nurit Zarchi has pulled together ideology, politics, local Israeli culture and motifs from classic children's literature in a work that persuades its readers that there's nothing out of the ordinary about magical beings.
Illustrations: Hilla Havkin