Written by Stephanie Cooke, Illustrated by Mari Costa
Published by Etch/Clarion Books, July 13, 2021
My star rating – 4.5 stars
It’s fall break in the supernatural town of North Haven, and young witch Abby’s plans include pitching in at her mom’s magical coffee shop, practicing her potion making, and playing board games with her best friends—a pumpkinhead, a wolf-girl, and a ghost. But when Abby finds her younger sister being picked on by some speed demons, she lets out a burst of magic so strong, it opens a portal to a realm of chaos bunnies. And while these bunnies may lookcute, they’re about to bring the a- hop-ocalypse (and get Abby in a cauldronful of trouble) unless she figures out a way to reverse the powerful magic she unwittingly released. What’s a witch to do?
Oh wow! Sometimes there books that come from an unexpected place and go right from the page into your heart. That was this book exactly! A month or so ago, when I was being crushed by a pile of ARC’s, I got contacted about reviewing this graphic novel. I came very close to passing on the opportunity due to my overwhelming responsibilities but, ultimately, this sounded too good to pass up. I’m so very glad I took the chance! This was truly great! Disclaimer – yes, I was given a digital copy to read for free, but all opinions are my own and uninfluenced.
As the above synopsis states, we have a young girl who works at her mothers coffee shop. There we meet a host of different characters: a girl who’s a ghost immigrated from another dimension, a wolf girl, and a pumpkin head. Abby’s magic has been behaving strangely and she accidentally opens a portal for another dimension that releases hundreds of “chaos bunnies”. They look kinda cute actually, if you can make it past the burning red eyes, big teeth, and love for pure destruction. So this group of friends must come together and help Abby control her magic and close the portal.
There was so much balance in this! It was beyond perfect. There was humour, ridiculous scenarios, interesting creatures, mystery, magic, and some serious topics throw throughout. You were never really allowed to stay in one mood for long which I LOVE! One page I would be giggling and the next my heart would be warmed and ready to burst.
The humour and hilarity were probably my favourite parts. Take the bunnies for example – adorable but literally tearing the town to shreds! We had a pumpkin head character who absolutely freaked out every time someone ordered a pumpkin spice latte even though Abby swore they didn’t use real pumpkin. Also the ghost character kept losing the charm that made her a solid being whenever things needed to be cleaned… perfect timing lol
The serious topics tackled were fantastic as well. We had themes of self confidence, divorce, belonging when you’re different, and standing up for what you believe in even when you’re questioned or ridiculed. I will say though that, even though I’m thankful that the author took the time to include some of these topics, there wasn’t as much on page time as I hoped. But this is a graphic novel so… there isn’t a whole lot of time to include it all. I just wish it was a little longer to keep those conversations going because it was so well done!
And the illustrations….. fantastic!! They were adorable and clean but my favourite part was the colour scheme! The limited colour pallet kept the images even from cover to cover and the colours chosen were perfect for fall! Oranges, reds, yellows, purples – stunning!
If you love adorable, funny, quirky graphic novels filled with interesting characters and magic, then I HIGHLY recommend picking this one up! I read this in digital form but I will be picking up a physical copy soon – I have a feeling this is one I will read many times over!
Until next time, happy reading!