Thursday 25 November 2010

Cats, Bats and Witches Hats

Cats, Bats and Witches Hats by Michele Dodd (Brolly Books)
HB RRP $21.95 (PB RRP $16.95)
ISBN 9781921756306
Reviewed by Vicki Stanton

Cats, Bats and Witches Hats is illustrator Michelle Dodd's debut as an author. At midnight, witches emerge from under the witches' hats on the road and create havoc with their magic brews until the sun begins to rise and they return to from whence they came.

Written in rhyme, the text plays cleverly on the terminology of the road: witches' hats, cats' eyes, road hog, zebra crossing, traffic jam and more. Children will be sure to enjoy the word play and will love the book being read aloud.

The illustrations are bold, colourful and humorous and make full use of each double spread. Each turn of the page provides a new surprise for the reader and I love the mayhem of the last spread which has the results of the witches' spells, such as a zebra, camel, bull and hog roaming the bush during the daylight hours once the witches have returned to their hidey-holes.

Cats, Bats and Witches Hats is wonderfully presented with illustrated endpapers and has a quality feel about it. This is Michele Dodd's first release following the loss of her home and studio in the tragic Black Saturday Bushfires in Victoria in February 2009.

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