Beagles and Books is excited to be part of the blog tour for The Itty Bitty Witch by Trisha Speed Shaskkan and illustrated by Xindi Yan. Special thanks to Two Lions/Amazon Publishing and Barbara Fisch of Blue Slip Media for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Betty can’t wait to be a first-grade witch. But on the first day of school, her classmates start calling her “Itty Bitty” because she’s small and still uses her kinder-broom. Betty doesn’t like the nickname—or how it makes her feel itty-bitty inside. So she comes up with a BIG idea to prove herself: winning the Halloween Dash.
When I think back to my first grade self, I can relate a lot to Betty. I was excited to be in first grade and couldn’t wait to learn. Like Betty, I was one of the smallest children in my class. In fact, I do not think I ever moved from the bottom row for class pictures. Not often, but I do remember sometimes being called “Shorty” by other classmates and feeling itty bitty inside like Betty. Unlike Betty, I though never had the courage to speak up for myself.
My school district has adopted Conscious Discipline, which is a comprehensive, multidisciplinary, self-regulation program that integrates social-emotional learning, school culture, and discipline. One of Conscious Discipline’s first lesson is teaching children to use their big or assertive voice to tell someone when their feelings are hurt. As I was reading The Itty Bitty Witch to my second grade #classroombookaday class, a student said, “Itty Bitty used her big voice!” How I love when read alouds connect to and reinforce our content; what is even better is when students come to these conclusions on their own.
While Betty uses her big voice, she still doesn’t feel confident but that does not stop her from trying to improve her chances of winning the Halloween Dash. One by one, her ideas fail, but Betty remains persistent. She creatively makes up a poem to help her remember the race course and during the actual race, when the other witches pass her, she thinks of her biggest idea of all, which ultimately helps her win. What I love most is Betty’s small stature was crucial to her victory which proves that being small can be an advantage. Yan’s expressive illustrations are eye catching and beautifully convey Betty’s feelings throughout the story. The Itty Bitty Witch is much more than a Halloween story. Shaskan has written an engaging and positive story with themes of assertiveness, persistence, and acceptance. I highly recommend The Itty Bitty Witch!
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Praise for The Itty Bitty Witch!
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Enter a Giveaway!
One lucky winner will receive a copy of The Itty Bitty Witch courtesy of Two Lions/Amazon (U.S. addresses only). Enter the giveaway by Friday, October 4, 2019 at 8 p.m.