BooksforTopics Reading for Pleasure Recommendations
Book Title: Scribble Witch: Notes in Class (available here)
Author/Illustrator: Inky Willis
Publication Date: March 2020
Most suitable for: Lower KS2
A joyfully fun concoction of doodles, notes passed in class and a sprinkling of magic, Scribble Witch is an imaginative new illustrated series by author-illustrator Inky Willis.
Nine-year-old Molly Mills is perfectly happy at school, despite having to put up with spelling tests set by grumpy Mr Stilton and the occasional leaky yoghurt at lunch time. But when the Worst Wednesday Ever strikes and Molly's best friend Chloe announces that she is going to move to a new school, Molly accidentally lands herself in trouble with the teacher and things no longer seem so cheerful. That's when Notes appears - a secret paper witch-doodle that magically springs to life. Notes is a bundle of fun who lives inside Molly's pen pot. She travels around by flying on a pencil as a broomstick and communicates with Molly via doodles and scrap-paper notes (although to understand what she means you'll have to decipher her quirky syntax, which reminded me a little of a scribbled-down version of how Roald Dahl's BFG speaks). Notes is exactly what Molly needs to brighten up her day, but Molly hasn't quite counted on the size of the chaos that one tiny witch can conjure!
This is a really promising series that made me smile a lot and it will strike a chord with fans of Liz Pichon and Konnie Huq. The stories are pitched for readers aged 7-9 but I think it will happily sweep along a lot of older readers too, especially reluctant readers in Upper KS2 or those who are drawn to a more informal style and a higher ratio of visual elements. The fact that the author has many years of experience working in a classroom shows through the authenticity of the main character's easy stream-of-consciousness, which muses humorously on the everyday ups-and-downs of primary school life.
Scribble Witch is fun, original and quirky and I enjoyed its vibrant design and harmless hilarity, which is bound to be a winning for KS2.
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Many thanks to the publishers at Hodder for sending us a review copy.
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