What is Witches, Bats, and Mystical Cats?
Witches, Bats, and Mystical Cats is a collection of whimsical poetic stories that celebrate the beauty of fall and the magical moments of Halloween.
National Book Awards
Witches, Bats, and Mystical Cats won Children's Book of the Year (2022) by the Outstanding Creator Awards. The OCA critics wrote, "The perfect Halloween children's book does exist," calling the writing "exceptional."
It rated 9.5+ out of 10! Critics said it received "the highest rating ever for a children's book."
This book won 1st place for poetry, 1st place for best writing, and 3rd for illustrations.
The National Moonbeam Children's Book Awards also honored it as a top three children's book for 2021.
What sparked the idea?
As a television news anchor, I’m often invited to classrooms to be a “mystery reader.” I show up and surprise the students. I read a fun story and then tell them about my job. I would always pick October to do this because who doesn’t love Halloween and the kids are usually pretty excited.
But what I started to notice was that this holiday was being diminished, especially in schools. During one classroom visit, I read a fun Halloween story, and then I asked the kids “what are you doing for Halloween? Are you making your costumes? Are you having a classroom party? Is there a zombie parade?” And the answer not only shocked me, but saddened me. For various reasons, none of those things were happening. Why? The answer was fear. Fear that something could create a problem, a conflict, or a danger. So, this particular class just had a small Halloween-themed crossword puzzle and an art project.
As I left the building, my heart sank. I remembered being a kid and just loving this time of year. I felt like the spirit of Halloween was starting to fade, along with its magical benefits.
Why I wrote this book
Halloween can be the most imaginative time in a child’s life. It’s an opportunity to briefly escape the stresses of our world and to become anyone or anything. Think back to when you were a kid. On Halloween, you could be an astronaut, a vampire, or a carrot. You could even create something fun with a friend. When you are free to dream, you teach yourself to visualize and create. You invent and problem-solve, all while having a little fun.
Isn't that the key to real learning?
My hope for Witches, Bats, and Mystical Cats
Some of the most successful people talk about the power of visualization, seeing what you want to achieve in your mind, believing that it is possible, and then making it happen. Halloween can be an opportunity to develop this powerful tool,
especially at a young age.
And let's not forget that this holiday is about community. It’s a time when we can come together for a night of light-hearted fun.
It's the one night of the year when neighbors open up their homes to each other and welcome even the littlest of goblins. We can use this day to inspire each other, collaborate, and contribute. And just maybe, we can find some fun and friendship in the process.
After all, there's nothing sweeter than that.
Except of course... the candy!