The little witch does not know her age and has never had a birthday, birthday party, or even birthday cake because witches do not celebrate birthdays. Even if she had a birthday party she has no friends and wouldn't know anyone to invite because she thinks everyone is afraid of witches. Sabrina thinks her friends would like the little witch as much as she does and is determined to have a big party for her, but she has never thrown a party for a witch before! After much planning, the big day for the little witch's birthday party has come. Will the children like the little witch? What will they do at a birthday party for a witch? This is a delightful story and timely lesson about kindness and friendship that all children should read!
Pellico craftily weaves magic spells into the fabric of an otherwise typical party – “Candles, candles on Anna’s cake, light up, and sparkle, sparkle great” – giving the story an otherworldly feel against the backdrop of snacks, games, and presents. With cool color schemes and copious details, Christina Berry’s illustrations bewitch readers and draw attention to pleasing background scenery and gradations of hues that hint at magic in everyday objects. Although the festivities don’t build to a climax, fans of playful witchery will be drawn to the quirky celebration.
Young readers will be delighted with the pets accompanying the main players, including Flash, a Peregrine falcon who is “one of the fastest birds on Earth,” and Anna’s cat, whose color changes with its mood. There are elements of conventional witchery (such as Anna’s classic hat and broom), but these take a backseat to contemporary interpretations and refreshing character diversity (including multiethnic party attendees and disability awareness). Pellico is careful to embrace varied birthday food, ranging from macaroni and cheese to sushi, along with culturally relevant activities – featuring a “Pumpkin Pinata.” Some goings-on will require suspension of belief, but imaginative young readers will revel in this opportunity to celebrate a very unrealistic birthday.
Takeaway: This bewitching story gives young readers a chance to exercise their supernatural muscles and experience a classic birthday party with a modern twist.
Great for fans of: Kim Ann’s Ruby the Rainbow Witch: A Picture-Perfect Rainbow Day, Diane Alber’s Never Let a Unicorn Crash a Party!
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: C