Daniel gets introduced to Heckie in a very abrupt way. He's babysitting with his friend this monster if a baby when all of a sudden he stops hearing the constant yelling. When Daniel goes to take a look he finds that a sweet puppy is there instead. Heckie can't understand why the parents or even he would want that retched baby back to normal but oh well...
Daniel's parents are professors and don't believe in getting bad grades. They can't understand Daniel. They're hardly ever around so Daniel is safe to say lonely. Heckie brings him out of his despair and teams up with him as well as two of his friends to turn even the wicked of them all to animals that the zoo will like.
There is one problem (isn't there always?). There's this man who sells fur who finds out about Heckie and what she could do and decides that he could become rich off of her with his business being coming rundown he comes up with the perfect solution. He's going to seduce her and eventually even marry her. Daniel and his friends know something's up even the dragworm (half dragon half worm) who gets ill when evil is around knows. Will Heckie listen in time before it's too late?
Heckie is quite the character. I mean turning a person into an animal with your knuckle and toe power? That's quite the character. I think the toe actually changes them back if I'm not mistaken... But who I really liked was Daniel. I love the kids in books because they are usually sad or maybe even be orphans yet they rise up and prove themselves. Daniel was incredible loyal and tried his hardest to help Heckie see the light. What also got me about him was how his parents weren't around all the time and they didn't really care about him. I guess I like the unlikely people and the underdogs. I never like the adults more than the kids because the kids are the ones I relate to more even though I'm now technically an adult I think I'll stay like that for a while if not forever.
One thing that really shouldn't have been here was talk about all the violence. For a kids book it just didn't seem right. But I do think that when that's put in there it's for a reason. Ibbotson might have been thinking that kids should know already how the world is. Blending the fantasy with real life? Anyways you should be a little careful if your younger than say 10. This is a lot like other witch stories by Ibbotson which should be part of any childhood.