Snitchy Witch by Frank J. Sileo

Snitchy Witch

Frank J. Sileo, Author

MacKenzie Haley, Illustrator

Magination Press, Fiction, Sep. 10, 2019

Suitable for Ages: 4-8

Themes: Tattling vs. Telling, Witches, School, Friendship, Halloween

Opening: It was a full moon at Camp Spellbound. Every year, witches from all over fly in on their brooms. It’s a hair-raising, fun time.

Book Synopsis:

Wanda Witch is a snitch. And Winnie and William and all the other witches at Camp Spellbound can only take so much! Will the snitchy witch find out on her own that she needs to stop snitching? Or will her friends need to use their magical powers to get Wanda to quit?

Why I like this book:

I love how Frank J. Sileo tackles the topic of tattling in a Halloween-themed story. There is a lot of fun word play and a great colorful cast of charachters.

Snitchy Witch is a story kids will understand whether they are the tattler or the teller. This is a perfect book to tackle social skills with children at home or in the classroom. Tattling can be hurtful to others and it can be isolating for the tattler. No one wants to be around a snitch.  It makes other kids angry. Telling is when something is not safe or in trouble.

Wanda is a spunky little witch who just won’t mind her own business. I enjoyed how the other little witches confront her on their own terms and share their feelings of anger and hurt. When Wanda continues to snitch, they cast a spell on her to teach her a lesson.

Oh moon so full, round, and bright. For witches who tattle, witches who snitch, tie their tongues, zip their lips! No witch shall squeal or tell on friends. This spell will be broken when the snitching ends!” 

MacKenzie Haley’s beautiful illustrations are lively, entertaining and colorful. Just look at that cover! She perfectly captures the snitching theme in a humorous tale of learning when it’s important to say something to a teacher/parent or try to work things out on your own.

Resources:  There is a Note to Grown-Up Witches at the end of the book about snitchy little witches. The guide will help little witches talk about the difference between “snitching” and “telling.” This is a great classroom exercise.

Frank J. Sileo, PhD, is a psychologist and the founder and executive director of The Center for Psychological Enhancement in Ridgewood, New Jersey.  He is the author of nine other award-winning children’s books, including Sally Sore Loser: A Story About Winning and Losing, Don’t Put Yourself Down in Circus Town: A Story About Self-Confidence, A World of Pausabilities: An Exercise in Mindfulness, Did You Hear?: A Story About Gossip, Bee Still: An Invitation to Meditation, and Bee Calm: The Buzz on Yoga. Visit  Sileo at his website.

Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books (PPB) with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.

*Review copy provided by the publisher.

Tattling and Squealing at School and at Home

With the beginning of each new school year, teachers across the country deal with tattling.  I found the following books informative, resourceful and just plain fun for kids.  Tattling is normal in young kids.  Pre-school and elementary teachers might want to consider starting off the year reading these books to the classrooms to help their students understand the difference between tattling and telling when something is really important.  Parents also face similar problems with siblings.

A Bad Case of Tattle Tongue, is written by Julia Cook and illustrated by Anita DuFalla for pre-schoolers to third graders.   It is published by the National Center for Youth Issues.  The author must have had my daughter in mind when she wrote this book.  I would have loved to have had this colorful and creative book to use with her.   Cook gets her point across with a wonderful teaching moment that is really quite humorous and guaranteed to make a child stop and think.  Kids alike will be entertained by this book, yet understand its strong message.

Josh tattles so much at school that he has been nicknamed “Josh the Tattler.”  He is so busy worrying about what everyone else is doing that he alienates himself from his classmates.  At school the kids ignore him at lunch time and during recess .   His mother is fed up with his tattling and tells him that if he doesn’t stop tattling, he’s going to get “Tattle Tongue.”   A bad case will cause his tongue turn yellow with purple spots and it will start to itch.   Each time he tattles his tongue will grow longer.  She comes up with a catchy phrase that helps him stop and think at school before he starts to tattle.  But, Josh has a dream about his tongue growing and meets that Tattle Prince who explains to him the difference between tattling and telling, and shares four basic rules.   Josh has some choices to make.

Don’t Squeal Unless It’s a Big Deal, is written by Jeanie Franz Ransom and illustrated by Jackie Urbanovic for pre-schoolers to third graders.  A great message for children accompanied with colorful, expressive pictures emphasizing how exhausting tattling can be for all involved.   There are 19 students in Mrs. McNeal’s class.  And 19 tattletales.  Teacher McNeal does a wonderful job of asking the tattlers if they’ve talked with the accused student, have they been hurt, or have they tried to fix the problem first before coming to her?  She comes up with a new rule that she prints on the blackboard: ” Don’t squeal unless it’s a big deal.”    The piglets learn when it is the proper time to tell a teacher.   Then one afternoon that rule is tested when something BIG happens.  The children are left to their own resources and have to use everything they’ve learned to take care of the problem.  The author is a school counselor and does an outstanding job of showing and not preaching to the students.    She has included a guide for teachers and parents at the end.  Kids will enjoy this book!