Picklewitch & Jack and the Sea Wizard’s Secret


It seems ‘I-screams‘ will lure Picklewitch from her ‘rezpondabilities‘ about her treetop garden home. Yet she’s hardly enthralled by the seaside, lolling about in her boots and ‘borrowed’ museum swimsuit while Jack digs for fossils. St Immaculate’s School for the Gifted has been invited to the Jurassic coast by renowned palaeontologist Dr Firenze Sharptooth. It seems there’ll be a prize awarded to the pupil who discovers the most remarkable fossil! Jack is desperate to be crowned winner.

Therefore, when Picklewitch’s discovery of a sea wizard, Scowling Margaret, threatens to interrupt his efforts, Jack is far from pleased. What’s more the sea wizard appears reluctant to follow protocol and invite Picklewitch, and then Jack, to her sea cave. Then she serves cake well below Picklewitch’s expectations. Yet something beyond Scowling Margaret’s remarkable ammonite necklace intrigues Jack. Thereafter, a little more light reveals….

What if Jack’s discovery might be the real reason for the school’s invitation by Dr Firenza Sharptooth? Furthermore, what if the very treasures hidden by Scowling Margaret are hidden for a very important reason?

Yet again, Claire Barker delights us with a Picklewitch and Jack story. The clever plotting, witty twists and turns, glorious language and intrigue are so engaging. Teemu Juhani’s illustrations are animated and full of detail and delight! Picklewitch & Jack and the Sea Wizard’s Secret is a triumph of a story. We recommend this book to all readers, especially those who are growing in chapter book reading confidence.

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Picklewitch & Jack and the Sea Wizard’s Secret

Claire Barker, illustrated by Teemu Juhani

(Faber & Faber)

Jack is certain Picklewitch has never been on holiday. However,  claims she cannot attend  the school’s  journey to the seaside because of her ‘rezpondabilities‘. Meanwhile Jack can ‘barely contain his delight‘ at the prospect of fossil hunting on the Dorset coast. It seems there will be a prize on offer from ‘world-renowned scientist’ Dr Firenze Sharptooth! Will ‘i-screams’ lure Picklewitch from her treetop garden home and LadyMum’s cake!
Picklewitch’s delight at the seaside grows when she discovers a sea wizard lives on the fossil coastline. It seems Scowling Margaret is honour bound to invite Picklewitch, and her ‘boxie’ Jack, to tea. What’s more she lives in a sea cave. Jack is intrigued by the ‘magnificent ammonite fossil‘ that hangs from Scowling Margaret’s neck. However, he’s in for an experience  beyond anything he might imagine. While Picklewitch focuses on the quality of cake, Jack is overwhelmed by what the sea wizard hides within her cave. Why is it hidden?Could it be something to do with Dr Firenze Sharptooth?  Why has she invited St Immaculate’s School for the Gifted to her seaside home? Why are they charged with hunting for the ‘most remarkable fossil find’?
Bookwagon loves Claire Barker’s Picklewitch and Jack, and Picklewitch & Jack and the Cuckoo Cousin. These books are laden with humour, contrivances, subtle messages and clever plotting. Picklewitch & Jack and the Sea Wizard’s Secret is a welcome third story that amplifies the pair’s differences but also their friendship and appreciation of each other. Bookwagon recommends this title highly to newer, growing in confidence, chapter book readers.


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