On Ethel's first day at witch school, she receives a package of very special underwear with one rule 'Do not lose these britches, look after them well. They will stop being magical if they smell' But what happens if they get loose. A funny tale of magical underwear.
I requested this book for review as the cover and titled really appealed. I love a little bit of toilet humour in books as children really respond to this and it hooks them in to the story... everyone loves to be allowed to be a little bit naughty! And if it gets kids reading and interested in books, then that's a great thing.
I initially read this to my 7 year old daughter and as I started reading, I was pleased to discover it rhymed... again a great way to hook kids into reading. There was only one part of this that really bugged me... in our accent here in NZ, the words 'dance' and 'pants' don't rhyme! But the rest flowed well and was an easy read... in fact I think my 7 year old would easily read this book herself too.
I also read this to some 2, 3, and 4 year olds at the preschool where I work and they enjoyed the story too. With all the children I've read this to, I've had to explain what britches actually are, but this to me is a good thing as I like it when books introduce new words to children as reading is a great way to expand vocabulary.
The story seems to hold children's interest and creates a few giggles when the magic underwear creates all sorts of issues. Overall it's a nice little book with some fun themes, cute and detailed pictures and a good amount of humour. I can't put my finger on it, but I wouldn't say it's my favourite kids book, and I feel the words don't necessarily make sense to a child by themselves, but lucky for detailed pictures that tell the story too. However the book seems to have a reasonable amount of re-readability and it's something a little bit different. I'd recommend for children from around age 3 or 4.
P Crumble is an author name I know well, from old ladies swallowing things to tortoises with Elvis hair. Something about Witch's Britches really appealed to me. Whether it was because I use to love reading Meg and Mog when I was a kid - the cover art reminded me of them. Or if it was because of the toilet humour I was expecting.
In this book, a big magical secret is revealed and it has something to do with undies or britches. I read this separately to both girls, and each time the big reveal was read they both fell over in a giggling mess. Undies are hilarious and magical ones are even better. Lucinda Gifford does a great job with this book, capturing the magical creatures and the fun of a windy day. The pictures are bright with lots of great detail adding to the fun.
The rules around the britches set up the adventure nicely and give the characters a fun day at the park, while also providing a solution for the hero too. My youngest in particular wished that she was at the park towards the end, and I don't blame her. She liked the look of the marshmallow mountain. But her favourite part was the giant baby. I could tell because when she was reading the book herself at one point, she stayed on the page with the baby for about 5 minutes. She just loved the idea of him growing bigger than his dad. Maybe she wanted to be bigger herself!
For my eldest daughter she was thrilled by the idea of a bone the size of a tree. I was worried about the character headed to the moon! It was cool that there are lots of really different characters in the book, one in a wheelchair as well. I liked that, because it helps to normalise that we are all different and we all belong at the park or where ever we happen to go.
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