A Very Witchy Spelling Bee


This year ML started spelling homework.  She completes her homework at the after school program.  Ms. Brim is on my top ten list of favorite people.  In after school, she lovingly helps ML and friends with their homework.  Her hard work results in a more peaceful evening for our family.  I am sure it is that way for others too.  Because of Ms. Brim we get to read funny books about spelling; instead of working on spelling homework.

A Very Witchy Spelling Bee by George Shannon and illustrated by Mark Fearing was published recently.  From the title, you might think it’s a Halloween book.  It isn’t.  It’s a clever book about a spelling bee.  Beulah Divine, winner thirteen times straight, laughs when she hears the young witch Cordelia plans to compete in The Witches’ Double Spelling Bee. Below are the rules for the once every ten years spelling bee

  1. When your name is called, pull a letter out of the bowl.
  2. Choose something onstage and spell it.
  3. Using the letter you picked, cast a spell that transforms what you chose into something new.
  4. Spell the new word.

“Opal went first and pulled out an M.  With a wave of her hand she turned ice, I-C-E into mice, M-I-C-E,”  The fun begins.  Hoe becomes shoe.  Shoe becomes horse.  Map becomes lamp.  You can’t add a “b” to pumpkin to make a new word so pumpkin explodes all over the room.  Soon it’s only Beulah Divine and Cordelia onstage.  One will outsmart the other.  Which Witch will it be?

I”m nominating A Very Witchy Spelling Bee for the North Carolina Children’s Picture Book Award; an award voted on by the children of North Carolina.   When ML learns to spell better we can create “Spelling Spells.”  In the meantime, we’ll enjoy the silly story and illustrations.  Cordelia’s facial expressions are my favorite part of the book.