My First How to Catch a Witch

Sourcebooks Wonderland. (How to Catch). Aug. 2021. 24p. Board $7.99. ISBN 9781728240916.
Toddler-PreS–A determined trick-or-treater wants her own “twinkle star” and she’ll catch a witch to get one. The sprightly, light-skinned costumed girl takes to the streets of her neighborhood on Halloween night. She is bedecked as a witch, the very same target of her endearingly naive traps. The traps themselves show the lengths of sophisticated planning from a preschool mastermind. The first ruse is a “Broom Landing Park & Ride” sign placed conspicuously near a trampoline in the child’s backyard. The front sidewalk is no safer, offering “Lemonade Free for a Broom Ride.” After all, catching a witch is just the start. It’s the broom that will help her obtain the coveted “twinkle star.” The witch, with green skin and pink hair, seen only by readers, effortlessly thwarts the hurdles. Consequently, it is a pleasant note from the girl explaining her goal that prompts the witch to deliver a surprise on her pillow. “Enjoy the star! XO The Witch.” The illustrations present as a cartoon storyboard, flipping between the child’s immediate experience and fantasized events. The colors are bold and bright despite the nighttime setting, and wide-eyed, genial characters announce a carefree lark through this holiday. However, the typical board book audience will miss the finer points of the story, and the rhyming quatrains are passable.
VERDICT Recommended for a unique Halloween story line and eye-popping illustrations with kid appeal.

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