The Feeling Good Club: Smash Your Worries, Bella / Diary of an Accidental Witch: Ghostly Getaway

These are two Little Tiger books both written in diary form: thanks to the publisher for sending them for review

The Feeling Good Club: Smash Your Worries Bella!
Kelly McKain, illustrated by Jenny Latham

This is the first of a new series, told through the journal of Bella, a Y5 pupil at Cavendish Juniors. As the book opens she’s feeling particularly down as her best friend Rohisha has just moved and to make matters worse, Bella has a Big Worry: she has to give a talk to her class in a few days. Her parents are trying their best to make her feel better but with no success: how is she going to make it through the next six weeks to the summer holidays when Rosh is coming to stay? Their Zoom calls make her feel worse still; her friend only talks about her new situation leaving Bella no opportunity to get a word in edgeways.

However, after a disastrous presentation to her class, during what’s supposed to be Feeling Good Week, Bella begins to bond with two empathetic classmates, Shazmin and Archie and little by little Bella’s confidence grows and she thinks she might even give that talk another go. Then comes a special Feeling Good session from Kris, a parent who is a mindfulness teacher. This is especially useful in helping Bella feel differently about how she reacts to situations and provides some activities to help cope with worries. After all this Bella, Archie and Shazim decide to form the Feeling Good Club.

Now things are definitely looking up but can Bella find the confidence to let Rohisha know how she feels on those Zoom calls and most important can she finally send those worries packing once and for all?

Kelly McKain’s writing shows clearly how well she understands children and their emotions; Bella’s voice is one teachers and parents will recognise, so real does she sound. Equally readers around Bella’s age will understand exactly how she feels as she faces and comes to terms with the challenges presented in this story. It’s one that celebrates everybody’s uniqueness and the power of friendship. The book ends with some mindfulness activities for children. I look forward to hearing more of Bella and her friends.

Diary of an Accidental Witch: Ghostly Getaway
Perdita & Honor Cargill, illustrated by Katie Saunders

Living in Little Spellshire with her weather scientist dad, Bea Black, through whose third diary we share her latest experiences and thoughts, is just into her second term at witch school. She’s mega-excited about the residential school trip and when it’s announced that their destination is Cadabra Castle in the middle of nowhere, Bea is a tad worried about the possibility that it might be haunted. When they arrive there’s a scramble for rooms and Bea, Amara and Winnie end up in a slightly spooky room with a ginormous four-poster bed big enough for three.

The time table they’re given looks very interesting with challenges, quizzes and picnics one of which is followed by a scavenger hunt. Can they succeed in keeping their magic a secret especially when there’s a group of ‘ordinaries’ out hiking who have a special interest in the possibility of a ruined castle. Another challenge is the team building of a shelter – who will win that?

In the final challenge Bea is paired up with Blair – somebody she doesn’t get on with at all – and that in itself is a challenge. However, Bea’s biggest challenge of all is to stop her Dad from finishing his book about Little Spellshire’s micro climate thus preventing the two of them from moving away from the area and the school she loves so much.

This is another winning witchy tale from team Cargill and Saunders. It’s fuelled by cake – a lot of it, friendship, the need for teamwork and the possibility of a ghost: will they actually discover one? You’ll need to get a copy of the book to find out.