Dulcinea in the Forbidden Forest

Ole Koennecke

Dulcinea in the Forbidden Forest
Gecko Press
New Zealand
1 September 2021

Dulcinea in the Forbidden Forest

Ole Koennecke

Dulcinea has known since she was small not to enter the dangerous magic forest where the witch has her castle. But her father hasn’t come home from collecting blueberries for her birthday pancakes. Did the witch cast a spell on him?

Dulcinea must brave the dark forest and sneak into the witch’s castle to steal the spell book and free him. Her father would hardly have named her after the brave Dulcinea if she couldn’t break a witch’s spell to celebrate her birthday with him!

This is a funny fairy tale for children starting on independent reading, with warm and characterful illustrations and a witty story.


A bad birthday is everyone’s worst nightmare – but imagine how bad things could get if you lived next door to an enchanted forest that happened to be the home of an evil, piano-playing, out-of-tune singing witch.

This is the unfortunate situation faced by Dulcinea, the protagonist of Ole Könnecke’s modern fairytale, Dulcinea in the Forbidden Forest. When her father falls foul of the wicked witch while searching for blueberries for Dulcinea’s special birthday pancakes, Dulcinea must make the treacherous journey to the witch’s castle and use all her wits to save her father – and, more importantly, her birthday!

This is a hilarious and beautifully illustrated take on a classic tale. It is another win for New Zealand independent publisher Gecko Press, proving again why they’re my favourite (and most eccentric) publishing house for children’s books. For ages 5+.

Jeremy George is a bookseller at Readings Malvern.

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