Book Trailer Premiere: The Itty-Bitty Witch by Trisha Speed Shaskan and Xindi Yan

Happy Thursday! Trisha Speed Shaskan and Xindi Yan dropped by to share The Itty-Bitty Witch's book trailer and to finish my sentences. We discussed Betty Ann Batsworth, Halloween, Xindi Yan's illustrations, and picture books. I wrote the words in purple, Trisha wrote the words in black, and Xindi wrote the words in orange. Thank you, Trisha and Xindi! 

The Itty-Bitty Witch’s book trailer has a swirly, pixie dust effect that reminds me of the intro to the TV show “Bewitched” starring one of my favorite witches: Samantha. My husband/children’s book illustrator and author Stephen Shaskan created the trailer and original, fun music for it. Listen for the sound effects!

Betty Ann Batsworth embodies so much of me as a child. I was one of the smallest kids in my class. I wrote poetry. And I practiced many sports—too bad I couldn’t race atop a broom!

The Halloween Dash occurs on Halloween each year at witch school. Each class has their own race where they fly on brooms through the forest.

Xindi Yan’s illustrations beautifully convey the spirit of this story more than I could’ve ever imagined! Xindi has created a textured, rich world filled with floating jack-o-lanterns, skeletons, enchanting characters, and surprises on each page. The illustrations change from daytime to nighttime for the Halloween Dash, capturing the magic of Halloween, a night when children get to roam the streets and collect candy or in this case: A night where young witches race atop their brooms.

Trisha Speed Shaskan’s manuscript for The Itty-Bitty Witch was love at first sight for me! Growing up, I was always the smallest kid in every class. I remember being made fun of for being short, struggling with physical activities and never being able to see in crowds. But I also remember and still do enjoy some of the benefits. Like I rarely have to duck under low branches, or finding solitude and comfort in smaller spaces where other people don’t notice. So a lot of the details in the illustrations are inspired by my personal experiences. I’m so grateful that Trisha decided to write a story about us petite people! On top of that, the visuals of broom racing, magical creatures and witches was irresistible! I knew I had to work on this story from the very first moment!

I hope The Itty-Bitty Witch can inspire everyone who is small in stature, feels small and stifled or just feels scared and different in a new environment to find our strength and voice in our “weaknesses”. Don’t let physical differences get in our way of dreaming big.

On July 16, 2019, Halloween would be brought to you early by a little witch with a big idea! She’s going to steal your heart!

Picture books are beautiful harmonies of experiences, memories and emotions from the writer and illustrator. I loved hearing from Trisha that my artwork reminded her of her childhood, which I had no way of knowing what it was like. And Trisha’s words were like a biography of my childhood as well. We both put little pieces of our souls into this book and it moved both of us deeply. Hopefully it will move those that resinates with Betty as well. And of course, I can’t say this without thanking the brilliant editor Kelsey Skea and art director Merideth Mulroney and the rest of the team at Two Lions. Thank you for your love and respect for my work! And thank you for helping me illustrate this book better than I could have ever imagined!

Look for The Itty-Bitty Witch on July 16, 2019. 


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