Twitchy Witchy Itch

Candlewick. Jul. 2021. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780763689810.
PreS–A cleverly illustrated, if bumpy, tale of self-acceptance and friendship for all seasons. Itch the witch lives in a very “twitchy” house, denoted by plentiful tight, black scribbles all around the home. As Itch prepares for her friends’ visit, she anxiously hides away all of the “twitchiness.” However, when witches Fidget and Glitch arrive, they bring their own “twitches.” Fidget blurs everything around her, depicted through separated and misaligned layers of color; Glitch causes pixilation and color distortion, which adds a distinctly technological feel to an otherwise soft and painterly presentation. Ultimately, Itch comes to terms with her “twitchiness” and all three friends enjoy tea together with their itches, twitches, fidgets, and glitches. While the message is a positive one, the text’s meter presents a hurdle on a first and even second reading. Some readers may also find themselves remarkably uncomfortable with the illustration of Itch’s “twitchiness,” which looks very distinctly like masses of discarded hair. All three witches have light skin and range in age and body shape. The unique illustrations are ultimately marred by uneven text, though readers may still find themselves hypnotized by the presentation.
VERDICT Consider for large picture book collections.

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