When young witch Cordelia enters a spelling bee, not only does she need to rely on her skills as an accomplished speller, but she must also use her wits to foil the competition…in the nicest way possible.
Cordelia really loves spelling and is quite good at it, but Mama thinks she may be too young to enter the Witches’ Double Spelling Bee. The contest is held only once every 10 years, and Cordelia wants to try. “I’ve studied. I’ve practiced. I’m ready to win!” Little does Cordelia know that the most recent winner, mean-spirited Beulah Divine, intends to keep her 130-year-long winning streak going. The night of the bee arrives, and the rules are clear. When called, the contestant selects a letter from a bowl, then must “choose something onstage and spell it. Using the letter…picked, cast a spell that transforms what you choose into something new. Spell the new word.” Cordelia impresses the crowd by using the “R” she selected to transform a “S-H-O-E into a H-O-R-S-E.” At the end, it’s down to sweet Cordelia and vicious Beulah. Other witches might be cowed, but Cordelia believes in herself. She pulls out an “R” to zap Beulah, who is a F-I-E-N-D, and change her into a F-R-I-E-N-D.
Shannon and Fearing combine their considerable talents to create a most bewitching tale of self-confidence and perseverance. (Picture book. 4-8)