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WITCH & WOMBAT by Ashley Belote


by Ashley Belote ; illustrated by Ashley Belote

Pub Date: July 4th, 2023
ISBN: 9780593569634
Publisher: Random House

A bespectacled young witch longs for a cat but ends up with something unexpected.

Though Wilma is excited for her first feline pet, when she goes to the Beast Buddies Pet Shop there are no more cats; instead, she is offered a wombat. She begrudgingly takes the dumpy, snoozy chum but worries: “Everyone else brings cats to school. Cats have been friends to witches for centuries. What a cat-tastrophe!” Unfortunately, Wombat is afraid of heights, which makes mastering Broom-Flying Basics a challenge; can’t perch on the edge of a cauldron during Brewing Potions for Beginners; and doesn’t stay in the required spell boundary zone, causing a spell to go disastrously wrong. Wilma is so frustrated she wishes Wombat would disappear. And Wombat does just that—by burrowing deep into the ground. Sprinkled with wombat facts (Wilma’s remembering that wombat scat is cube-shaped helps her follow a trail of poop to find her pal), this is a winning testament to true friendship. Wilma sets aside her assumptions of what a witch’s companion should look like and realizes just how wonderful Wombat truly is. This is a not-so-spooky tale perfect for Halloween and beyond. Wilma has bluish-black hair and pale skin among a diverse class. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A spellbinding tale that encourages readers to accept—and celebrate—what makes us different.

(Picture book. 4-7)