The Witch’s Britches, written by P Crumble

Written P Crumble
Illustrated by Lucinda Gifford
Published by Scholastic Australia
September 2015
ISBN: 9781760151539

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Lucinda Gifford’s illustrations are delightfully bright, full of both colour and little surprises, making this a clever and funny read for adults, as well as the children they read to.
Reviewed by Artelle Lenthall, Creative Kids Tales

In 2014, I had a meeting with the lively and inspiring team at Scholastic’s Sydney office and, soon afterwards, the brief for ‘The Witch’s Britches’ arrived. A fun rhyming text by the extraordinarily prolific ‘P Crumble’, The Witch’s Britches tells of rookie witch Ethel – who receives her first pack of magical britches (these being the source of a witch’s magic, you see). One day, the britches get loose, causing havoc around town.

The character of Ethel came to me fairly easily, and I had fun drawing her from the start – though we agreed to reduce the length of her nose a little; in the words of Angie Masters, lovely publisher at Scholastic: “Not that she has to be perfect.. it’s just a little distracting…”


The story was straightforward and fun to illustrate – a great project for a fledgling illustrator. It offered plenty of opportunity to add extra characters not mentioned in the text – such as Ethel’s familiar, Ethelred the cat (I named him for my own character development purposes, of course…)


And ‘Edgar’ the frog pops up now and again too:


Here are some pages from the storyboard (thumbnails). Everyone was happy with this early on, and very little changed for the rough and final drawings.


Rough to final artwork. Click to go through slides…

My first cover concept was probably a little too cheeky for the bookshelves:


This title page didn’t make it either:


All in all, I’m really happy with the way everything turned out – especially Ethel, Edgar and Ethelred:


And here’s the final cover:


The Witch’s Britches was a laods of fun for me, and I hope readers enjoy it too!
It can be found in bookstores across Australia, and online here.