Hello, friends! Our book today is The Itty-Bitty Witch, written by Trisha Speed Shaskan and illustrated by Xindi Yan, a witchy lesson in believing in oneself.
Betty is thrilled to start her first day of school as a “first-grade” witch. However, she’s scarcely in the door before she’s the subject of teasing from two of the other girls, who pick on her smaller size and “kinder-broom”. They dub her “Itty Bitty”, and despite her firm protests of “My name is Betty!”, the young witch can’t help but be hurt by the other girls’ words, feeling itty-bitty on the inside. Upon learning of the school’s annual Halloween Dash broom race, Betty sees the chance to prove herself and earn her classmates’ respect. She gives her all in training, but finds that her smaller size make some maneuvers even more difficult. Can Betty find her groove before the big race, and prove that she’s as formidable an opponent as any other witch?
Encouraging and sweet. Betty’s tale is a classic story of learning to love oneself despite bullying or detractors, and finding one’s strengths to lean into. By the end, it’s Betty’s sharp mind that proves her secret weapon, and her small size ends up being an asset in the race as well. And while the bullies of the book come around to Betty a bit quickly to feel organic, the most important development is that Betty has grown to believe in herself, and no longer lets the words of others make her feel “itty-bitty inside”. It’s an important lesson for young bookworms wrapped in a fun, Halloween-themed package (though this one could certainly be enjoyed year-round). The soft, expressive cartoon characters are winning, and the palette creates a spooky/cute vibe. The length was fine, and JJ enjoyed it (in particular, one classmate’s repeated exclamation of “Wicked!”). A sweet Halloween tale with a timeless message, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!
(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by a representative of the author in exchange for an honest review.)