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A Very Witchy Spelling Bee Hardcover – July 30, 2013

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 590L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (July 30, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152066969
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152066963
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 8.5 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,125,510 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 1-4-It is time for The Witches' Double Spelling Bee and young Cordelia decides to enter. After all, "She's studied. She's practiced. She's ready to win." Grumpy returning champ Beulah Divine, at age 203, is not about to let a little girl trounce her winning streak, so she plays dirty, turning Cordelia's ears into pears, and her hair into a chair. Young Cordelia, though, is able to both win and make a friend out of a fiend. With this "spelling spell," Shannon has used clever wordplay and created a downright fun language game. Fearing's quirky penciled cartoon images accompany this battle of the letters, showing green-skinned witches with big eyes and funny smiles. Classroom spelling bees will never be the same once young readers get their hands on this title.-Angela J. Reynolds, Annapolis Valley Regional Library, Bridgetown, NS, Canadaα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

When witches gather for a “spelling” bee, the rules require not just orthographic expertise but magical chops, too, because each contestant has to transform one item into another with the addition of a randomly selected letter. The competition can get ugly, as young Cordelia discovers after 203-year-old champion speller Beulah Divine changes her e-a-r-s to p-e-a-r-s and her h-a-i-r to a c-h-a-i-r in successive rounds. Nonetheless, Cordelia exudes confidence in Fearing’s cartoon illustrations, leading a cast of pop-eyed, comically rendered witches with pickle-green skin. After a suspenseful buildup and a broad hint from her mother that may also clue in alert audiences (“She’s a jealous old fiend!”), the plucky challenger puts her assigned R to good use, and she is last seen flying off in triumph with a huge trophy balanced on her broomstick. The ingenious transformation that Shannon himself works will spell w-i-d-e s-m-i-l-e-s from young audiences. Grades K-3. --John Peters

More About the Author

It feels as though I have always been wrapped in stories and books. My parents read to me, and I in turn read to younger brothers. Family economics meant we couldn't own many books, but going to the library was as common as going to the market. I still have the books I received as gifts. They include two "Little Golden Books" that were savored in childhood, and have served as talisman ever since. THE BUNNY BOOK by Patsy and Richard Scarry (1955) and RABBIT AND HIS FRIENDS by Richard Scarry (1953).

Like all children I created stories as part of play. And, like some children, I was soon identified as one who "days dreams too much." I began writing stories when they were given as assignments in elementary school. By seventh grade I was writing even when there was no assignment. My dream of making books became so vivid, I submitted my first "formal" picture book manuscript to a publisher when I was sixteen. Eleven more years of school, work, reading, writing and luck finally brought about LIZARD'S SONG, my first children's book to be accepted.

Looking back, it seems especially appropriate that LIZARD'S SONG was my first book. Even though I had been writing for years, I always felt everyone else's life held better ideas for stories than mine did. I thought there was nothing about me that was interesting enough to make a good story. But I finally learned what Lizard teaches Bear. My best stories come when I tell or sing about what makes my home. What I love. What I fear. Things that have happened to me, and things I hope will happen. Things I like about me. Things I dislike about me. Things I understand, and things that still confuse me. So even though I am not a lizard, squirrel, chicken or rabbit, when you read my books you'll find little bits of what my heart calls home.

Picture books have been my professional focus now for 40 years. Reading them. Writing them. Sharing them with children. Teaching workshops and classes on writing them. Oh yes, and buying them. Lots of them. And now, blogging about them, and helping other writers.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Vickie on November 18, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Expressions well portrayed, a great ending and it provides a unique way for kids to think about words. My niece laughed and so did I.
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Format: Hardcover
Cordelia loves to spell words and cast spells, so she jumps at the chance to enter the Witches' Double Spelling Bee. Her competition? The reigning champion, Beulah Divine, who has won 203 years in a row!
The rules of the double spelling bee are as follows:

1. When your name is called, pull a letter out of the bowl.

2. Choose something onstage and spell it.

3. Using the letter that you picked, cast a spell that transforms what you chose into something new.

4. Spell the new word.

Cordelia and Beulah quickly outspell their competition and go head to head against each other in this charming and clever book. Teachers and parents will enjoy this story as much as their children and students.
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