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Book Review: Suitcase S(witch) by Aisha Bushby (Barrington Stoke)

Illustrated by Coralie Muce

For ages 7+ (dyslexia friendly format)

*[Ad-review copy]

Suitcase S(Witch) by Aisha Bushby with illustrations Coralie Muce (Barrington Stoke, 2023) …dyslexia-friendly format. For ages 7+ / KS2. This adorable novella is a magical journey of fun witchy mishaps and discovery as Zahra grows her confidence for a poetry competition.

About the book

🌱Marvellous news, Zahra has been selected to read poems in a competition and could win a £500 book voucher for her school library!! From haikus to limericks, she’s got to recite it them all - so much of pressure! Zahra’s REALLY NERVOUS. She’s taken the train down with mum (her family originate from Kuwait, she’s possibly a vampire, but mostly likely just a workaholic) and dad (white-skinned, and a zombie, but more likely just very tired) to the seaside to where the competition is being held in a big fancy hotel. Just as she gets off the train, amid all the kerfuffle of getting baggage onto the platform, Zee (Zahra) is distracted by a girl her own age who is wearing a witch’s hat and seems to be gliding along the carriage, if that’s possible; plus they have the same suitcases.

🌱As per the title of the book, you can guess what happens next. Gone are Zee’s poetry notes, her outfits for the weekend. She decides to take a peek into the witch’s suitcase… This adorable novella is a sweet journey of trial and tribulation as Zee discovers different magic spells and their uses, having fun with it all and meeting a few helpful and rather cute magical cats along the way. What’s more, by the end of the story, Zee not only finds her confidence, but she finds a best friend for life. The book features some of Zee’s poems within the story, so also brilliant for a poetry topic. Lively illustrations throughout.

About the creators

Aisha Bushby (author)

Author, Aisha Bushby

Aisha Bushby was born in Bahrain and has lived in Kuwait, England and Canada. Now she mostly lives in the worlds of her children’s books. Aisha was a contributing author in the Stripes anthology for BAME writers, A Change is Gonna Come, alongside writers including Patrice Lawrence, Tanya Byrne and Nikesh Shukla. The anthology was awarded a YA Book Prize Special Achievement Award. Aisha’s debut novel A Pocketful of Stars was longlisted for the Carnegie medal and shortlisted for the Branford Boase award. Aisha’s books are always full of heart and have a sprinkling of magic in them. (Source: RCW Literary Agency)


Coralie Muce (illustrator)

Illustrator, Coralie Muce

Coralie Muce is a French illustrator and concept artist who grew up in Paris and graduated from the Émile Cohl art school in Lyon. She now divides her time between Paris and Lyon. Coralie has a strong eye for colour and is fascinated by folklore. Inspired by the quirky illustrations of Ronald Searle and the poetry of Eyvind Earle, you'll often find imagined worlds and magical elements within her work. She has worked with several publishers and magazines including Poulpe Fictions, Gulf Stream Éditeur, Fleurus Presse and Bayard Presse. (Source: Pickled Ink)


Key themes




learning about differences

overcoming anxiety


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Publication date: 18 May 2023

Format: Paperback

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*reviewed from proof via advance reading copy provided by the publisher

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