A must-have for newly independent readers and fans of Ivy + Bean and Clementine! The first of a new series starring three young girls and a mysterious visitor who appears exactly when you need her—with just the right amount of magic.
Sadie has two best friends: Jess and Maya. But Jess can only take one friend on vacation with her, and Sadie is the one who gets left behind. How will Sadie ever survive the days of loneliness and boredom? But wait . . . what is that in her old playhouse in the backyard? A witch has moved in! A kind and funny witch, who’s looking for her own two lost friends. Together, Sadie and the witch have a curious adventure, one that makes Sadie see her neighborhood—and herself—with new eyes. Acclaimed authors Ron Koertge and Christine Heppermann—writing together and for younger readers for the first time—have created a heroine to rival Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and Ms. Frizzle. Short chapters, a satisfying mystery, gentle humor, magical dazzle, and adorable black-and-white illustrations throughout by debut artist Deborah Marcero make this an ideal pick for readers of Ivy + Bean, Just Grace, and Kate DiCamillo’s young novels.
In this charming series opener from Heppermann (Poisoned Apples) and Koertge (Coaltown Jesus), nine-year-old Sadie is resigned to spending four long days lonely and bored when her two best friends go on vacation without her. Instead, she meets a delightful, friendly witch who has moved into the playhouse in her backyard. Despite the pointy hat and bubbling cauldron, Ms. M is no typical witch her brand of magic is more natural and inspirational than built around potions and spells. "The most powerful magic is something anyone can do," she tells Sadie. "It's called paying attention." Under Ms. M's tutelage, Sadie learns the fine art of birding and realizes that her surroundings abound with marvelous creatures and creations. Marcero's occasional b&w illustrations play into the light, fun tone, and Ms. M's understated motivational techniques hit just the right note of subtle encouragement as Sadie looks inside herself and at the world around her to find a different kind of magic. Ages 6 10. Author's agent: (for Heppermann) Tina Wexler, ICM; (for Koertge) Anne Hawkins, John Hawkins & Associates. Illustrator's agent: Danielle Smith, Red Fox Literary.