Tag Archives: witch

Princess Bella and the Dragon’s Charm by Pete Planisek


Princess Bella and the Dragon’s Charm by Pete Planisek, illustrated by Elizabeth Nordquest, chapter e-book, 42 pages, published by Enceladus Literary in 2016.

Princess Bella is beautiful and kind, but she does not laugh. Eventually the people in her kingdom begin to refer to her as the Ice Princess because no one has ever heard her laugh. One evening after a particularly bad day, Princess Bella is dragonapped from the highest tower of the castle, and removed to a treasure-filled cave high in a distant mountain. Princess Bella quickly befriends the lonely dragon, Spurlock, and they enjoy each other’s company. After a while Princess Bella begins to feel homesick. She can’t stay in a dragon’s cave forever, can she?

A whimsical tale of friendship and acceptance, I quite enjoyed Princess Bella and the Dragon’s Charm. It was a quick and easy read, with short sentences and simple phrasing perfect for young readers starting out with chapter books.

Each chapter had a colourful illustration at the start showing an image from the story. These were not only cute, but also helpful in making the text less daunting for younger readers.

The story was heart-warming, and it made me laugh, especially when Prince Himmasnob was about! Even his hair was amusing. I have a soft spot for dragons, and I really liked Spurlock. The concept of an ice-skating, skiing, snow-ball tossing dragon just delighted me.

Princess Bella and the Dragon’s Charm is most suitable for lower to middle primary school children to read themselves, but it would also be a lovely story to share aloud.


*I received this book as a digital copy from the author, who asked me for an honest review of this book. I did not receive any other remuneration, and the review is composed entirely of my own opinions.


Escape From Witchwood Hollow by Jordan Elizabeth


Escape From Witchwood Hollow by Jordan Elizabeth, e-book, 178 pages, published by Curiosity Quills Press in 2014.

After her parents are killed in the terror attacks of 9/11, Honoria moves to the rural town, Arnn, with her brother, aunt and uncle. The town is bordered by a forest, known as Witchwood Hollow. Over the years many people have wandered into the woods never to return. The legend of the witch is well known about town. Soon after arrival, Honoria is introduced to the woods by a couple of kids from her new school, but instead of being afraid, she finds a kind of peace among the trees. Could the witch help her reunite with her parents or will she become trapped forever?

Escape from Witchwood Hollow was an easy and fast read which I really enjoyed. The story was appealing and intriguing, while the characters were interesting and well-written. There was an undertone of sadness throughout the story, with many of the characters experiencing the loss of a loved one, or being lost themselves.

This book is not about witchcraft per se, it is more about historical occurrences becoming an urban myth, and the way that such a myth is regarded by locals and newcomers to the area. The story centres on Honoria, and her experiences in Arnn and the woods in 2001. However, it is also about Lady Clifford, an immigrant new to the Arnn area during the 1600s, and another English immigrant, Albertine, who arrives in Arnn in 1850. Both of whom entered the woods never to return. I liked the way the story spanned across and entwined the stories and times of the three young women.

I felt sorry for Honoria, given the tragic loss of her parents. Her behaviour felt realistic for the situation. Something good for Honoria from the move to Arnn was her burgeoning friendship with her neighbour, Leon. Proximity brought them together, but a shared interest in local history and the legend of Witchwood Hollow strengthened their bond. I really liked everything about Leon, he was my favourite character.

Something I found a little odd in the story was the obsession with clothing brands. It was weird, and completely redundant to the story, so why emphasise their fashion choices?

Escape from Witchwood Hollow is suitable for upper primary and high school students and is perfect for fantasy lovers.


*I received this book from the author as a digital copy in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any other remuneration, and the review is composed entirely of my own opinions.

Diary of Anna the Girl Witch by Max Candee


diaryannacoverDiary of Anna the Girl Witch by Max Candee and illustrated by Raquel Barros, e-book, 117 pages, published by Helvetic House in 2016.

Anna Sophia has lived in an orphanage since she was six. Her early years were spent in the care of Uncle Misha in the wilds of Serbia but she knows nothing about her birth parents or her family. On the night of Anna’s thirteenth birthday she is given some small clues about her heritage, including a carved hand that can come alive! Oh, and she’s a witch with developing powers that she must learn to control. Learning about herself is not the only thing on Anna’s mind though, her best friend was adopted by a rich couple nearby, and now she is acting very strangely. Anna decides to get to the bottom of things, but she may be facing more danger than she could have imagined!

I was captivated by this story from the first couple of chapters. The plot was interesting, engaging and flowed smoothly. I knocked it over quite quickly, enjoying the action and magic. The story was a little dark, but very good. It was short enough not to be intimidating for younger readers, but due to the themes of child slavery and kidnap, it may suit more mature readers, or require some adult guidance. I think it would best suit upper primary school and lower high school students.

I was surprised by the lack of surprise and fear form Anna’s friends when some of her powers were displayed. Instead of being scared or awed, Jean-Sebastien just thought it made her kind of cool in a weird way. I don’t think that’s the sort of reaction that most people would make on discovering their friend can perform magic.

There were some illustrations throughout the book. These were done as mostly black and white line drawings, with just a small part of each picture coloured. This really drew the eye to the coloured object, emphasising it. I liked this touch.

Anna was an interesting character. Each chapter began with a diary entry written by Anna, and then the story was continued from Anna’a first person perspective. I felt like I got to know her better with the addition of the diary entries. She was kind and protective of her friends, and I liked her. She developed much more awareness of herself through the story, learning about her past and about her capabilities. She also learns an important lesson about remaining kind and good, and not letting revenge or malice cloud her heart. This is a lesson we can all take on board.

Squire, the animated hand, was a little creepy! Who enchants a carved fist? He was very helpful for Anna though, and I’m sure he makes a good companion for a witch. He’s much easier to hide than a cat or a toad. I was glad he couldn’t talk though, that would have taken it too far!

Diary of Anna the Girl Witch finishes with and ending designed to lead onto a sequel. I was left wanting to read the next book soon; it promises to be an exciting series.


*I obtained this book as a digital copy from Netgalley. I did not receive any other remuneration, and this is an honest review composed entirely of my own opinions.

The Hippity Dippity Witch by Lorraine O’Byrne


hippitydippitycoverThe Hippity Dippity Witch: Trouble in Willow Grove by Lorraine O’Byrne, e-book, 138 pages, published by Updrift in 2015.

To avoid a spelling test Jenny ditches school and goes to visit Willow Grove, a wood where her animal friends live. Since her last visit to Willow Grove, a young witch called Marigold has been wreaking havoc with her poor spell work. Marigold is the niece of Willow Grove’s resident witch, Griselda, who will not be impressed by Marigold’s interactions in the wood.

This was a quick and entertaining read. It contained short chapters, which are great for younger kids, and some black and white illustrations scattered through the book. I enjoyed reading about Marigold’s mishaps, which often made me laugh. I think this would be an excellent book to share with my kindergartner.

I enjoyed reading The Hippity Dippity Witch; it was well written, and the plot flowed nicely. The story finished with hints towards a sequel, so hopefully there will be more books to come. I was surprised by the twist for Jenny towards the end of the story, but thought that it fit nicely.

The characters were interesting. Marigold was a bratty, dislikeable girl with a temper, though her mistakes were rather funny! I liked her rhyming spells, it’s just a shame that they never quite worked. Jenny on the other hand was a caring, polite and gentle child who talks to animals. I liked Griselda too, she was a talented witch, who was also strong and kind.The little woodland creatures were funny, especially after their encounters with Marigold!

The Hippity Dippity Witch is a wonderful story for lower to middle primary school students. I hope there will be more stories about Jenny, Griselda and Marigold soon!


*I received this book as a digital copy from the author, who asked me for an honest review of this book. I did not receive any other remuneration, and the review is composed entirely of my own opinions.

Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler


IMG_8888Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson and Axel  Scheffler, paperback picture book, first published by Macmillan Children’s Books in 2001, this edition published by Macmillan Children’s Books in 2002.

The Witch and her Cat are going for a broom flight in the starry night, but things keep blowing away. Each time they descend to the ground to recover the lost item, there is another animal wanting a ride on their broom. Can the broom hold all of these animals, or will they come to a sticky end?

Room on the Broom is another delightful rhyming book from the creators of The Gruffalo. This is a fun book to read aloud with children of all ages, but is especially good for pre-schoolers and lower primary school children. The illustrations are nice, and the story is funny, and I enjoy sharing this one with my kids. There is a dragon in this story, which my kids thought was a little scary the first time we read the book, but that hasn’t stopped them requesting many re-reads! This is one of our favourite picture books.