Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Review: Merry Witchmas by Petrell Maria Özbay and Tess La Bella

It's picture book time, and today, I'm taking a glance in the direction of Halloween and Christmas mixed together. Kind of. 

The cover caught my eye because isn't that witch so adorable? I have no doubt that this one will put a smile on young listeners', let's go on and see if I'm right.

by Petrell Maria Özbay and 
Tess La Bella
Illustrated by Sonya Abby Soekarno
Boyd Mills & Kayne
Picture Book
32 pages
ages 4 to 8


Ginger the Halloween witch has a big Christmas wish--a visit from Santa Claus. But Santa doesn't believe in witches--until Ginger's letter to him magically appears on his desk!

Ginger is a typical witch. She spends a lot of her time creating spells, and flying through the night on her broom. But Ginger is different from the other witches -- because she also ADORES Christmas! Even with Ginger's good deeds and endless Christmas cheer, she's never received a single visit from Santa. What's a Christmas-loving Halloween witch supposed to do? In this twist on the Christmas holiday's traditional "believe" concept, Ginger's wish of a Merry Witchmas comes true thanks to some holiday magic and good cheer.

GOODREADS   /    B&N    /    AMAZON UK     /    AMAZON US


The fun aspects of Halloween and Christmas come together in a witch young readers will wish they could have as a friend.

Ginger is a very normal witch. She dresses like one, flies on her broom, and enjoys Halloween, but unlike other witches, as soon as Halloween is over, she embraces and thrives on everything Christmas. With a cauldron of hot chocolate bubbling over the fire, she dreams of the day Santa will come to her house, but no matter how hard she tries, he fails to appear. But soon, things take an interesting twist.

This is such a cute witch. She might have everything all witches do, but her bubbly and cheerful nature is contagious and quickly draws a smile. The author allows the two holidays to mold as the decorations of this little witch take a Halloween-y direction and still hold Christmas cheer. Plus, this witch has a heart of gold as she goes at and helps where she can. She's impossible not to like and cheer for.

The illustrations are packed with details for tons of gazing fun. Since there's a mix of holidays, it's a treat to search and find all sorts of surprises. The depictions do a lovely job at bringing across the tale and allow readers/listeners to explore the tale on their own as well.

The messages in this one are warm, encouraging and filled with hope. Ginger's desire to do her best is inspiring, and her hold on her beliefs despite everything also warm the heart. It's a read, which leaves a smile on the face and is one that will probably be followed by that simple phrase 'read it again'.

And here they are...

Both Petrell Marie Özbay and Tess La Bella live in South Florida. Tess’ Christmas cookies are famous throughout New Jersey and South Florida. As for Petrell’s thoughts on Christmas: More is More! Both women have lent their talents advocating for literacy, fundraising for the arts and supporting children’s organizations. Illustrator Sonya Abby is based in San Francisco and grew up reading comics and fantasy fiction.

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