Witches of Brooklyn by Sophie Escabasse
Eleven-year-old Effie, recently orphaned, has been sent to live with her sharp-tongued step-aunt Selimene and mild-mannered partner Carlotta. These new living conditions come as a huge surprise and major adjustment for everyone.
Feeling unwanted, but with no other choice but to stay, Effie and Selimene come to a tentative truce. As she adjusts to her new home, Effie discovers a few oddities. The attached greenhouse is filled with a vast selection of medicinal plants which have healing properties. There is also an adjoining acupuncture office.
Most astonishing of all, in addition to their work as herbalists and acupuncturists, the two are witches. They are committed using their powers to help others.
Their supernatural abilities have awakened a latent power inside Effie. She discovers that she too is a witch. The two seasoned witches and their young protege are presented with a perplexing problem. A massively popular singer has developed a ghastly change in her facial coloring, making it impossible to publicly perform.
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With the help of ancient book of magic, some extraordinary meteorological powers, and an assist from three of Effie’s new friends, the singer’s disfiguring skin condition is cured and she can resume her concert schedule.
Escabasse captures the quirky personalities of her witches with a deft hand. Petite fashion-conscious Selimene wears oversized statement jewelry and stylish footwear. Carlotta is a large woman with an extra-large heart who must smooth over difficulties often exacerbated by Selimene’s short fuse. Characters are loveable because of their idiosyncrasies.
Séance Tea Party by Reimena Yee
Twelve-year-old Lora is lonely. Her friends no longer share her interest in imaginative play.
Lora decides to her own Séance Tea Party, surrounded by her stuffed animals and a Ouija board. A surprise guest joins the festivities. Her name is Alexa and she’s the ghost of a young girl who died years ago. Lora is delighted. She discovers that Alexa was her imaginary childhood friend.
The two become fast friends, accommodating Alexa’s spirit into the corporeal world. Alexa gently nudges Lora to move out of her comfort zone. She accepts a spur-of-the-moment invitation to attend a Halloween party. Her new friend is draped in a sheet. The perfect disguise for a ghost.
Lora gradually expands her circle to include an older woman. She begins to experiment with make-up, opting for a deep shade of lipstick and definative eyeliner.
The human is not the only one moving on. Alexa comes to realize that it is time for her to leave her earth-bound connection. A bittersweet scene touchingly shows the dear friends, acknowledging their affection for one another while recognizing the desire to step away from their present lives. A sweet story of growing up, letting go, moving on.
Yee captures Lora's innocence and Alexa’s wistful longing. There is an expressive quality to the art. The images begin with a juvenile sensibility that gradually morphs into a more mature perspective.
Bonus pages include a sneak peek into the artists craft, illustrated with numerous sketches.