Witch & Wombat by Ashley Belote

Witch & Wombat by Ashley Belote
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Genre: Children’s (0 – 6 y.o.), Holiday, Contemporary
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Every witch will want a wombat after reading this humorous picture book perfect for little readers who want a new pet!

Wilma, a young witch, cannot wait to get her very first cat! But when the pet store is fresh out of kittens, Wilma brings home. . . a wombat?! What a CAT-astrophe! A wombat is nothing like a cat, but maybe if Wilma puts cat ears on the little critter, no one will notice. . . . (Spoiler alert: they do.)

This bright and fun picture book teaches young witches that our differences can be our strengths when we have an open mind!

Witches know exactly what they need…right?

This tale had a playful sense of humor that worked well for the surprises that sometimes come up during the spookiest time of year. I chuckled as I peered closer at certain funny illustrations and read other lines a second time for the sheer joy of it. Wilma was delightful, and her silly attempts to make her new pet act more like a cat couldn’t have been better. Halloween and humor aren’t mixed together very often, so it was heartwarming to see them included in the same storyline here.

I found myself wishing that the storekeeper had explained to Wilma why he thought a wombat was an acceptable substitute for the cat she had ordered. Did he make a mistake with the order form from his supplier? Were wombats a common pet to order from his store? Why didn’t he ask her in advance what she thought of this solution? The logic there never made sense to me, and it detracted from an otherwise enjoyable story.

With that being said, I did appreciate the messages about making the best of things, respecting differences, having a good sense of humor, and being flexible about your plans. These are lessons that many adults often need to learn just as much as kids do, so this is something that can appeal to readers of all ages. Life may not always turn out the way we like, but the plot twists in it might end up being even better than what we originally hoped for!

Witch & Wombat was a cute Halloween read.

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