Add a little magic to story time! Author Emily Gravett describes the book ‘Spells’ as the story of “A love torn frog and some very mixed up spells!”. If you are hoping to make reading books as appealing and enjoyable an activity as possible and use your story at bedtime to help the little person practice their reading, this is one book to add to your collection.

After finding an old book of spell and  literally using the pages as a vessel for his imagination, the frog hits upon the idea of piecing together the torn pages in order to find the spell that will turn him into a handsome prince. If you ignore the ideas of gender role enforcement and the promotion of the body beautiful themes that such a story bases itself on then you can concentrate on a fantastic story with a nice twist at the end and all set against a backdrop of beautiful design.

What makes this book worthwhile for me are the mistaken spells the frog tries. The middle section of the book allows you to mix different creatures to create new and funny hybrids. A snake’s head and a rabbit’s lower body become a Snabbit. The pages are cut horizontally to allow the mix and match of the two halves of the animals the frog mistakenly turns himself into in the hunt for the handsome prince spell. Beginning consonants and consonant blends are printed with the heads, and the rest of the word is printed with the body. Any child that is practicing their phonic reading skills can easily be introduced to beginning consonants and consonant blends in this way.

This article by Damian Kelleher gives some great ideas for follow-up activities. For residents in Japan, the book will cost you 1,497 yen on Amazon Japan.


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