Series Review: Picklewitch & Jack

Written by Claire Barker
Illustrated by Teemu Juhani
Published by Faber & Faber

Sheer joyliciousness!  I have absolutely fallen in love with all three books in the Picklewitch & Jack series.  Sparkling with friendship, magic and oodles of fun and mayhem, these books are an absolute delight with the most adorable best friends EVER in Tree Witch Picklewitch and Boxie (aka human), Jack.  If only the tree at the bottom of my garden was home to such an adorable, nature-loving and feisty little witch with whom I could enjoy cakes – until then, I am more than happy to enter this magical world.

The friendship which grows between Picklewitch and Jack is utterly endearing, and leads to many opportunities for a fit of the giggles.  They may be besties, but they also have their tiffs, especially if one does not agree with the other. However, their friendship is always strong enough to withstand disagreements.  The interactions between the two are fizziliciously fun, heart-warming and genuinely made me smile so much. 

I love the playfulness of the language used by Picklewitch which is such fun to read, and would make it brilliant as a read-aloud series with younger children.  The language suits her character perfectly:  a nature-loving, messy, mischievous young girl who is full of confidence and knows what she wants and goes after it – and what she often wants is cake!  She has a heart of gold and is a loyal friend to Jack, even though she does have a tendency to sulk – sometimes!  Of course, that just made me love her even more.  I also really liked Jack who is more serious and sensible and always trying to do the right thing.   Together, they learn what true friendship is, and are  a wonderful and joyful match!

The full-page and partial-page illustrations by Teemu Juhani are truly glorious, fizzing with personality and life.  They complement the humour and warmth of the series perfectly.

This is a magical, charming series that made my heart sing with delight, and brought the biggest smile to my face on many occasions.  It exudes warmth, humour and an appreciation of nature.  Go on … treat your young booklover, or yourself, to a joyous reading experience … maybe with a slice of cake!

After inheriting a new home, sensible and clever Jack moves into Rookery Heights with his Mum, ready to start a new life and attend St Immaculate’s School for the Gifted.  However, he gets rather a fright when he opens the curtains to reveal a young girl with a pointy hat, and an obsession with cake who decides to be his best friend, whether he likes it or not.

One day at school, after Jack insults her, Picklewitch leaves her bag behind and disappears. Unable to resist, Jack opens it to discover a spellbook which could mean only one thing:  a witch has befriended him.  Could he have found the friend he needs, even if he doesn’t know it?

So begins a fun-filled, enchanting and heart-warming delight as Picklewitch causes mayhem and mischief whilst Jack tries to keep her safe and stop her revealing her secret.  Will Picklewitch prove herself to be just the friend Jack needs?

Jack’s new best friend, Picklewitch is causing mayhem at St Immaculate’s School for the Gifted as she brings her own brand of rule-breaking and merry-making with nature following her in to the class. After getting a letter from her cousin, Archie Cuckoo, he soon arrives for a visit. 

Jack is worried that he will feel left out but, when Archie arrives, he is polite, immaculate and clever and they get along brilliantly with lots in common.  Jack soon finds himself inviting Archie to stay with him, leaving Picklewitch feeling left out.

However, Archie may not be as perfect as he seems.  Will Picklewitch and Jack see through his sinister plans, and reveal his true nature, before he comes between the best friends?

Jack is super-excited when his school are invited on a field trip to hunt for fossils at the Dorset seaside by an ex-pupil and his hero, Dr Firenza Sharptooth.  There will be a prize for the best find which he is desperate to win.  However, his best friend Picklewitch is not so keen to leave her garden … until she is promised I-scream!

Whilst Jack is hunting for fossils, Picklewitch is hunting for I-screams and soon inveigles an invite for cake when she spies a Sea Wizard, Scowling Margaret. 

When Jack and Picklewitch arrive at the Sea Wizard’s hidden lair, they make an amazing discovery, a discovery that the Sea Wizard has been keeping secret and that someone else is intent on uncovering …

Picklewitch & Jack is a wonderfully heart-warming, gigglesome series with the most adorable friends who, despite their differences and wobbles, are a perfect match. I cannot recommend this series highly enough – guaranteed delight with every page!

Thank you to Bethany Carter and Faber & Faber for providing me with a copy of Picklewitch & Jack and the Sea Wizard’s Secret in exchange for my honest opinion.  I already owned the first two books in this gorgeous series.

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