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Bella Donna: Too Many Spells
Sky Pony Press
By Ruth Symes, illustrated by Marion Lindsay
192 pages
age 8-12

Synopsis from Sky Pony Press:

Bella Donna seems just like any other student at her school, but she has a secret: she’s really a witch! The other witches who live on Coven Road are having a spell casting contest, and Bella is determined to win. She’s trying to learn as many spells as she can, and that’s no small thing! It’s not easy to complete secret magic training while trying to live a normal-kid life. When strange things start to happen at school and begin to spin out of control, Bella wonders if she can really do it. Maybe there are just too many spells!

With Halloween approaching, young readers will like following witchling Bella Donna in her second adventure Bella Donna: Too Many Spells. Beyond the fun Halloween twist with witches, magic spells, and baby unicorns, the story touches on friendship, secrets, trust and courage in yourself.

Not unlike most kids, Bella Donna has a passion but also has doubts about her ability. For our kids it could be math or swimming or playing an instrument. For Bella Donna it’s spell casting. Her courage to take a chance led to new experiences and self confidence, even if she wasn’t the best at her task. Kids today are often raised to be risk adverse, to only do things they are good at, but Bella reminds readers to try something you are interested in.

Her own growing self confidence leads her to save her small community from a bigger problem too.

Although witches in general are not a typical family, I do like that Bella Donna is adopted by a woman, another witch. Even Bella’s friend Sam is also adopted, referencing that they are glad they found their “forever family”. Family isn’t necessarily about blood but rather a bond.

The chapter book is illustrated with a few black and white images to help readers connect further with some of the main characters within the story.

Additional Reading: Spotted Dog Last Seen.

You can find a copy of Bella Donna: Too Many Spells from Sky Pony Press or your local bookstore. Visit our Kid’s Books section for other great book recommendations.

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