Evie and the Truth About Witches
“A fun book, a simple but still captivating story, and attractive design make Evie and The Truth About Witches a good choice for the Halloween season, or for any other time when someone is in the mood to be scared.”
Mission accomplished with Martz’s character, a young red-headed Evie. Light hearted, yet chilling and creepy, Evie, ends up getting exactly what she wanted: “Evie wanted to be scared.”
Evie is a reader who knows where to look for a good book. On this one particular day, she wants something from the bookshop that specializes in horror, ghosts, magic, and the unknown. She systematically scours the shelves for just the right title and lands upon The Truth About Witches. A word of warning comes with the check-out receipt, but Evie seems to dismiss this as crazy talk from an old lady.
Engrossed in spells, potions and witchcraft shenanigans, Evie violates the warning and ends up transported into the world about which she had been reading. She finds herself in the thick of all things witch-like, having a grand ole time living the lifestyle. And that’s about when the reader starts to wonder, what’s so scary about this? Surely those second graders can handle a little more octane.
No sooner does that thought enter the mind when the last pages rapidly unfold the truth of the situation. Evie’s eyes pop out of her head, her hand reaches instinctively up to cover the gasp echoing from her mouth, and an eerie breeze runs over the goose bumps on the reader’s arm. No spoiler alert here, the reader will find out all in good time.
Author/illustrator Martz, uses a singular crimson color effectively to help tell the story. Set off against a gray-toned palette, it adds drama, spunk and pizazz to each image. In the red is where all the magic happens.
From a design point of view, varied layouts make use of a full range of techniques from free-frame vignettes to an almost graphic novel quality of sequential squares. No two pages are the same, but each page has something about it that is just right.
Witch-Land (so-called here because the place is not actually given a name) is a good fit for Martz’s imagination. He has unleashed an array of spooky plants, grimacey critters, and an eclectic gang of seasoned witches. Mixed in are normal things like a garden, reading on a hammock, watching a sunset with a new friend, and dancing all night under the stars. Hanging out in Witch-Land has about as much comfort and appeal as a visit over the river and through the woods at grandma’s house. Different enough to feel like a getaway, but intimate enough to feel welcoming. A combination relayed mostly through the visual aesthetics.
A fun book, a simple but still captivating story, and attractive design make Evie and The Truth About Witches a good choice for the Halloween season, or for any other time when someone is in the mood to be scared.