Bedtimes and Broomsticks

What’s even better than hearing that my niece can’t come to the phone because she’s engrossed in reading Magic Trixie?

Magic Trixie, a young girl in a black frock and traditional witch's hat, with frizzy pink hair

I was recently made aware that E and her sister M — that’s for privacy purposes, not because my family names its children after club drugs and Fritz Lang movies — lent their book to a friend and were eagerly awaiting the sequel, Magic Trixie Sleeps Over. Sharing is great! And they need wait no longer. I’d already bought it, and I mailed it out after hearing this rather than hold onto it for the girls’ upcoming visit. HarperCollins was smart to advertise the next installment in each book, price them low ($7.99 each), and of course snap up this series from the brilliant Jill Thompson to begin with.

covers to pair of books showing Trixie frolicking with her cat and riding her magic-broom bicycle
Art in this post from Magic Trixie and Magic Trixie Sleeps Over © 2008 Jill Thompson.

Thompson is no stranger to supernaturalists with sass, having (as I wrote earlier this month) conjured up the delightful Scary Godmother more than a decade ago. Magic Trixie takes a different approach to the reader-identification dynamic: Here the little girl isn’t a normal kid befriended and protected by the niftily powered sorceress but rather a witch herself. Like their creator, Magic Trixie and Scary Godmother both have curly orange hair; Trixie likes to turn hers pink, however, and her family is central to the action, whereas in Scary Godmother stories Hannah Marie’s parents were barely seen. Trixie lives in an extremely vertical, multi-generational building that also houses the family business, a café called Elixir. As she tells her classmates, along with her mom, dad, teenaged cousin Tansy, and grandma-in-denial MiMi, “I also have a Grampy and Gramberry, and an Uncle Monkey and Noodle Lou. Then there’s Dead Papa. He lives at the cemetery.” If that isn’t funny or kid-friendly enough for you, stay away, because Trixie also conjures ectoplasm out her nose and, in the central plot of the first book, jealously decides to pull some serious hoodoo on her baby sister, Abby Cadabra.

Nefi the mummy girl; Stitch Patch, a Frankenstein's monster of a boy; and the Twins, vampire boy and girl

That sibling jealousy mostly resolved, Magic Trixie Sleeps Over presents another
lesson to be learned. Young, rambunctious Trixie prefers spell-o-vision before bed (“I wanna see the killer robot and the swimsuit lady that gots a big sword,” she says; my nieces will relate) to a bath (Mom: “Who sculpted a likeness of Scratches [the cat] out of her mashed potatoes at dinner?” Trixie: “I only used my hands for the face part! And for eating”). Once she hears that her friends have very different evening rituals, well, Magic Trixie sleeps over, providing a series of inventive vignettes. Stitch Patch, made in a lab, snacks on batteries and is tucked into a series of glass jars each night; Egyptian princess Nefi, a mummy, is freshly rewrapped and partakes of oils but no food; the Twins, vampires, retire to the graveyard; and Loupie Garou, werewolf girl, roughhouses with her brothers and howls at the moon, exhausting even Trixie. Home, naturally, starts sounding pretty sweet.

Magic Trixie's exasperated mother standing at her bedroom door as Trixie holds out her wand and makes her clothes dance around the room

Magic Trixie and the Dragon, the next volume, is due in June. I can’t wait to read it before the nieces get here.

Related: Scary Good E Mail  A Curious Case of Bedrooms and Buttons
Flow Rider
Braids of Glory We Got a Live One Here Hounds and Fury

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