Diary of an Accidental Witch
Perdita & Honor Cargill, illustrated by Katie Saunders
There’s a new magical school on the story map and it’s called Little Spellshire School of Extraordinary Arts. Little Spellshire is the sleepy town full of cats and magical children into which Bea Black and her weather scientist Dad have just moved; this book takes the form of eleven-year old Bea’s diary – her first ever.
But it’s a case of izzy fizzy, Dad was so busy and so dizzy that he’s gone and enrolled her not in the ordinary academy but the Extraordinary establishment in the forest intended for young local witches.
Unexpectedly Bea finds herself sitting through all kinds of strange and spellbinding lessons in the company of peculiar classmates
and tasked with homework that entails venturing into the forest in the middle of the night to find skeledrake roots for a potion – now what on earth are they?
Surely it’s not too much to remind her Dad to get her moved into the Academy ASAP.
It’s either that or dig deep and find her inner witch: with the Halloween ball fast approaching it would be useful to discover even the teeniest smidgen of a magical spark.
Then there’s the question of Excalibur
about which I’ll say no more except that the incident is just one of the many magical mishaps and untoward incidents to be found in Bea’s diary that is bound to have readers giggling and wriggling in delight.
However as well as frog minding, persevering with broomstick-riding, levitation, avoiding getting ExSPELLED, being Witch In Charge of Bat Bunting, which requires the cutting of 1200 paper bats, keeping Dad from finding out of what’s really going on, this spellbinding story is concerned with a girl trying her best to fit in at a new school, making the best of a tricky situation and trying her level best to make friends.
Full of heart, this is the first of four stories brewed by the Cargill team, aided and abetted by Katie Saunders who supplies liberal sprinklings of amusing illustrations (including a class photo and a map): an ideal concoction that simply effervesces with humour and heart. Youngsters will definitely be spellbound and eagerly anticipate diary number two; so too, this reviewer.