Reading/Interest Level: Primary
Author: George Shannon
Illustrator: Mark Fearing
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books
Spelling is one of Cordelia's favorite things to do. When she finds out about the Witches' Double Spelling Bee, she diligently prepares for it. Beulah Divine, age two hundred and three, has won thirteen times and doesn't plan on giving up her title. This isn't just a normal spelling bee. The witches must choose a letter from the bowl, choose something onstage, and spell it. Then, using the letter they picked, the witch must cast a spell that transforms what they chose into something new. Finally, they must spell the word. Beulah proves to be quite the competition. In the end, Cordelia wins, but she also turns Beulah, who can be a fiend, into a friend!
The illustrations are very entertaining. Young readers will notice new things in the illustrations each time they read it! The illustrations were done in pencil and then altered digitally. The main character, Cordelia, is a great example of studying hard and then being confident under pressure. The words and Cordelia’s spelling of each word are in bolded font and a bright purple. This book has a great message of friendship, as Cordelia makes a friend out of a witch who had been unkind and competitive towards her. Students in second and third grade will especially love this book, as they are learning to play with words in the English language.