Published today! The Witch with an Itch written by Helen Baugh is a funny and intriguing, rhyming tale about a bold little witch and her first encounters with magic. We see her skipping through the Little Witch school gates, freshly qualified with wand poised to make her mark on the world. Everything seems right but as the first spell is cast the magic backfires and despite word perfect incantation the spell goes wrong!
Nature features largely throughout this story and for me it was a pleasure to illustrate the shade dappled woodland and its bustling traffic of insects and other small slimy creatures not normally given much attention. We tiptoe behind the little witch with her trail of wrong spells and increasingly explosive clouds of colourful magic where finally, in fits of frustration and comic anger she has a dramatic realisation!
Helen's story gave me plenty of challenges, fitting all the action into the layouts, even though the spreads are HUGE thanks to the Jonathan Cape super large format and keeping the creatures appealing at that size - How do you make a newt look cute?! It has been a treat to work on this tale of human nature and animal magic. Here's some more art/sketches on what has kept me very busy these past weeks.