'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Sunday 17 January 2021

Review: Little Gem

Younger readers who love the Worst Witch series (whether books or TV) will fall in love with Little Gem, a little witch who lacks confidence and, actually, skills.

When her spell cast at the Witchcraft School goes horribly wrong, Gem finds herself in a completely unknown setting – a small seaside village where the inhabitants all immediately welcome her as the new village witch. 

There is great excitement as the village has been lacking their own witch for many years, but Gem is more concerned with getting back to her own time and place – and her cat. 

Besides this, she knows she is not very skillful with even the simplest of spells!

However, as she is embraced warmly by these new friends she realises they need her help badly – their Weather Watcher has gone missing in mysterious circumstances causing the local weather to become very chaotic and there have been sightings of a fearsome beast in the local surrounds.

Little Gem is certain she can help with the perfect spell if only she can manage to get it right and with the encouragement and whole-hearted support of these new friends, she finally manages to solve both mysteries and restore the equilibrium of the village. Having always felt completely out of place at the Witchcraft School, Little Gem now finds she has not only discovered a niche for herself but one where she is valued and respected for her nature as well as her magic.

This is a perfectly delightful story, the start of a new series, which will enchant your young readers and empower those who may feel they are the odd ones out or not so adept as it proves that there is a ‘right fit’ for all of us, no matter our strengths or weaknesses.

Anna Zobel has created a real winner here for younger readers from around six years upwards and both her text and illustrations are charming. It is wonderful to see that one of our own Australian author/illustrators can take on a genre  more commonly seen coming from UK creators and this aside from anything else makes this a truly worth addition to your collection for newly independent readers.

Title: Little Gem
Author: Anna Zobel
Publisher: Puffin, $14.99  
Publication Date: 5 January 2021
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781760896089
For ages: 6 - 10
Type: Junior Fiction