Hello Lucy and Paula! Thank you so much for chatting to me about your new book ‘Wanda’s Words Got Stuck’.
Could you give us a quick overview of what the book is about?
Lucy Rowland: Wanda the Witch is so shy she can’t talk and no matter how hard she tries, the words just won’t come out. But when another nervous little witch called Flo joins her class, Wanda realises that perhaps talking isn’t the only way to make friends. Then disaster strikes at the school magic contest…will Wanda have the courage to shout out the magic words and save Flo from the fire-breathing dragon?
Wanda’s words have a sneaky habit of getting stuck. Whenever she tries to speak, the words just won’t come out and this makes her feel nervous and small in front of her teacher and the other children. Everyone else just seems so confident so why can’t she be the same?
Wanda struggles along until one day a new girl joins her class. Flo looks nervously at her new classmates before dropping her eyes to the ground and blushing. In the playground Wanda gives her a little wave and a smile and soon the two are playing quietly alongside each other. They slip into an easy and comfortable friendship where few words are needed. The two girls just seem to ‘get’ each other.
Later that week their teacher announces something which terrifies them both – a school magic contest in which they will have perform a spell in front of the class! Flo and Wanda decide to work together but when the big day arrives they are both dizzy with nerves.
Oscar has lost a tooth and he’s worried that this will stop him from making friends. It’s tough being a skeleton at the best of times, but surely no one will want to play with him now when he looks so dreadful? Sad and lonely, Oscar resigns himself to the fact that his dog will probably be the only friend he ever has.
But then one day he spots a little girl burying a tooth in the ground. She has heard that doing so will make her dreams come true and what she wants more than anything is to find a friend. She agrees to give the tooth to Oscar if he will help her on her quest, so they join hands and set off together on an adventure.
Oscar and the girl spend the most wonderful day together, discussing what they would do if they each found a friend. The girl shows him a rainbow and her favourite meadow. They smell the cut grass and talk of family and the seaside. Then Oscar leads her in to his own world which is dark and mysterious. They watch skeletons skate on the ice and listen to a strange creature with pointy teeth play the harp.
Since discovering the joy that is Tracey Corderoy, Ivy and I have been on a mission to read all of her books. We have devoured all of the Shifty McGifty picture books and now we are loving this Hubble Bubble series about a very unusual grandparent.
The little girl in the story wants to tel us all about her Granny, who happens to be a little bit different. She dresses all in black, has a pointy hat, keeps frogs and bats as pets and the food she serves is extremely unconventional! She loves her granny but sometimes she wishes she could be a little bit more like the kind of grannies her friends have.
She suggests to her Granny that it might be fun to have a makeover day together and she sets about making little changes which she thinks will make her more ‘normal’. They knit some hats together, travel in to town by bus (rather than broomstick!), buy some new clothes and get their hair done. By the time they are finished, her Granny looks just like all the other grannies in the street.
Our favourite book this Halloween has been Mrs Blackhat by Chloe & Mick Inkpen. Ivy LOVES it and I’ve easily read it 2-3 times a day in the last week!
Mrs Blackhat is a witch whose life definitely has a colour scheme. Everything is black – her clothes, her broom, her cauldron, her house – except for one thing. She has a ginger cat!
She finds this splash of colour extremely irksome so she sets out to find a way to transform her cat so that he’s more in keeping with her witchy style. Being somewhat of an online shopping addict she hops on her laptop and orders some potions and spells from her favourite site. However when they arrive they don’t quite perform as they should.
Ivy is still a little young to understand this one but she loves the illustrations and enthusiastically hums along with the song (The leg bone’s connected to the – hip bone!).
This spooky little book tells the tale of a family of skeletons who live in the dark dark cellar of a dark dark house on a dark dark street. One night the skeleton family take their skeleton dog for a walk to the park and plan to frighten someone along the way.
It doesn’t quite go to plan though – with hilarious results!
Buy it now: http://amzn.to/2A2Cl9r
As Halloween approaches it only seems right to draw attention to this absolute classic from Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler.
A friendly witch flies on her broomstick on a windy day but the wind keeps blowing away her witchy essentials, including her hat and her wand.
Each time she lands to hunt them down a clever animal helps her and then joins her on her broom. She’s soon travelling with a veritable menagerie but then the broom snaps in two and they all tumble to the ground and land in the path of a hungry dragon. How will they ever escape?