The Itty-Bitty Witch

Amazon/Two Lions. Jul. 2019. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781542041232.
PreS-Gr 2–Betty is excited for her first day as a first-grade witch, until Abby and Sam started teasing her for still using a kinder-broom. When Sam and the other kids (except Taylor) began to call her Itty Bitty, it makes her feel small inside. But when Ms. Fit announces the Halloween Dash broom race, Betty knows that winning will banish that nickname for good. After a month of practice during which Betty tries all sorts of things (running start, nose dives, arm flapping) to help her kinder-broom keep up and puts up with more teasing, it is time for the race. After falling behind, Betty has the Big Idea to use her small size to go through a cave that her bigger classmates cannot manage (“Wicked! Taylor cheered”). Her cleverness puts her in the lead and she wins to the shock, then delight, of her classmates, who chant “Itty Betty! Itty Betty!” This is a nickname Betty likes that makes her feel big inside. Shaskan’s serviceable text is paired with Yan’s crisp, digital illustrations featuring large-eyed children, good action scenes, and plenty of Halloween ephemera—bats, jack-o’-lanterns, pointy witch hats.
VERDICT A Halloween-themed mixed-bag about being different and using that difference to win the big race. Purchase as needed.

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