FICTION

Heidi Heckelbeck Casts a Spell

illus. by Priscilla Burris. 118p. (Heidi Heckelbeck Series). CIP. S & S/Little Simon. 2012. Tr $14.99. ISBN 978-1-4424-4088-3; pap. $4.99. ISBN 978-1-4424-3567-4; ebook $5.99. ISBN 978-1-4424-3568-1. LC 2011014336.
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Gr 1–3—Heidi Heckelbeck, a witch, is upset about a girl in her second-grade class who is unaccountably mean to her. When she gets fed up with Melanie, she finds a way to make her nemesis forget her lines for the school play. Heidi spends much of the book assembling ingredients for her spell, such as a puppy tooth and a piece of straw. When she works her magic and Melanie starts to cry, she feels bad, reverses the spell, and everything works out well. The typeface is large and clear, and the word choice is simple. Small to full-page pictures prompt early readers on every page. This is a slight story with no surprises. There is little humor or suspense, but its sheer simplicity might make it a rewarding choice for early or struggling readers.—Amelia Jenkins, Juneau Public Library, AK
Frequent illustrations punctuate zippy early chapter books about spunky eight-year-old Heidi Heckelbeck. Lucy Lancaster befriends the formerly homeschooled Heidi, but Melanie Maplethorpe is inexplicably mean toward Heidi. Heidi's big secret is that she and her mother are actually witches, but this twist comes late in the first story (Secret) and seems almost superfluous. Review covers these Heidi Heckelbeck titles: Heidi Heckelbeck and the Cookie Contest, Heidi Heckelbeck Casts a Spell, and Heidi Heckelbeck Has a Secret.

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