The Witch’s Britches, written by P Crumble

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…”

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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…)

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

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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.

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Rough to final artwork. Click to go through slides…

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

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This title page didn’t make it either:

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

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And here’s the final cover:

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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.