Step aside Hogwarts, there’s a new magical school in town and I definitely want to attend…where can I enrol? Now, that’s a big statement from someone who is obsessed with everything HP.
Welcome to Little Spellshire, place of magical children, lots of cats and the new home of Bea Black and her dad. When Bea’s dad accidentally enrols her at the School of Extraordinary Arts - a school for local witches - rather than the school for ordinary kids, Bea finds herself amongst unusual classmates, having to take all manner of spellbinding and enchanting lessons and completing homework tasks that involve venturing into the forest to find skeledrake roots…whatever they are.
Bea is absolutely convinced that she definitely does not belong at witch school but with the Halloween Ball getting ever closer, showing just the slightest bit of magical spark would be really useful. Will Bea be able to find her inner witch or is she just a perfect toadbrain…
Diary of an Accidental Witch is the first in a four book series of magical mis-adventures from mother and daughter, Honor and Perdita Cargill, starring an ordinary girl (at least she thinks she is ordinary) who finds herself living and learning in a town that is far from normal. If this first diary is a sign of things to come then the Cargill’s have the perfect concoction of story-writing ingredients for a series that will become a firm favourite with young readers.
Fizzing with fun and bursting with mischief, the diary of Bea Black makes for a fabulously warm-hearted and funny read. With lashings of magical mishaps and unfortunate accidents, Bea’s diary is full of all kinds of witchy fun and readers will be giggling and cackling as she tries to master wand waving, broomstick riding, potion making and levitation whilst trying to complete an ever-lengthening to do list and keep her magical mis-adventures secret from her dad.
The story bounces along and I can honestly say that I did not stop smiling and laughing. Adding to the fun is a delightfully generous sprinkling of magical illustrations from Katie Saunders. And there’s a map…I love a map and the one that introduces Little Spellshire is not only gorgeous but filled with places I would love to visit: Taffy Tallywick’s Tea Shop for a hot chocolate and a slice of cake, Rhubarb and Custard to ogle at the old-fashioned jars of sweets and maybe even try a fizzy skullsquiggler and then off to Mr. Riggle’s Emporium to stock up on fresh cuckoo spit. What a wonderful place Little Spellshire is!
Amongst learning to ride a broomstick, looking after a frog and cutting out twelve-hundred paper bats for the Halloween Ball is a story of a new girl struggling to fit in at a new school, desperately trying to make friends and finding herself having to make the best of the situation that she finds herself in. Whilst readers may not be able to relate to Bea’s witch problems they will be more than familiar with the everyday challenges of school life.
Hubble, bubble and a cauldron lot of light-hearted and laugh-out-loud trouble. Perfect for fans of Amelia Fang and Witch Wars.
Recommended for 7+.
With thanks to Perdita and Honor Cargill and Little Tiger for the advanced reader copy that was received through NetGalley.