Ta da! Presenting…..a FIRST!

Here’s my ENTRY into Susanna Leonard Hill’s FIRST Ever Pretty-Much-World-Famous Illustration Contest!
Please visit Susanna Leonard Hill’s Blog for more information and to view the other entries.
The contest rules were to draw/paint a children’s picture book cover illustration (no text required – art only) for one of the top stories in the March Madness Fractured Fairy Tale Writing Contest.

I chose The Sweetie Witch by Pen Avey. The story charmed me with its rhyming verse!  Who doesn’t like a house made of YUM, a witch with a SOFT spot, and a lil’ FROG ice cream?

Let the JUDGING begin! Wish me luck and THANKS for stopping by! ~C.L. Murphy (Cathy)


The Sweetie Witch

by Pen Avey

A sweet old witch named Hilda
Lived deep in Toffee Wood,
Weaving magic, casting spells…
Some bad, but mostly good.
One day while dipping in a stream
To catch a moonlight pearl,
She heard a sob, and in a bush
There crouched a tearful girl.
“I beg you Miss, don’t eat me!”
Pleaded little Gretel,
“My bones are dry, my flesh is thin,
My blood tastes yuck, like metal.”
Hilda laughed and shook her head,
Though Gretel was suspicious.
“Why would I eat you dear
When my house tastes so delicious?”
The witch led Gretel through the trees
Into a fairy glade,
And Gretel’s eyes grew round as hoops
At wonders there displayed.
A cottage built from gingerbread
And cake, instead of oak.
Up from the chocolate chimney pot
Rose cotton-candy smoke.
Brightly colored lollipops
In pots beside the door.
Honeycomb for roof tiles,
And sherbet on the floor.
A table made from liquorice,
With soft marshmallow chairs.
A rug of woven apple-whips,
And jelly-beans for stairs.
“The best part’s round the back, my dear,”
Hilda trilled with glee,
“My sweetie tree makes anything – look –
I’m growing a muffin settee!”
When Gretel saw she gave a gasp
For on it her brother sat,
His mouth crammed full of muffin crumbs,
Stroking the witch’s cat.
“Hello there, my name’s Hansel,”
The foolish glutton said,
“Could you get me some milk to wash this down?”
Suddenly… the witch… saw RED!
“Oh, greedy boy!” yelled Hilda,
“You really are a hog!”
With that she waved her candy wand
And turned him to a frog.
Poor Gretel started weeping,
Which softened Hilda’s heart,
And she turned her to a frog too
So they’d never be apart.
Now Hansel and Gretel live happily
In Hilda’s little stream,
Diving down for moonlight pearls
And eating fly ice-cream.


37 thoughts on “Ta da! Presenting…..a FIRST!

  1. This is great! I really love the pine trees in the background. I thought of illustrating Sweetie Witch because it is such a charming story. I’m so glad you chose to represent it.


  2. Oh Cathy, I LOVE it! You’ve packed so many of the story details in, and I think the flies with little faces are adorable 😀 Thank you so much for choosing my story to bring to life with your awesome illustration!


    • Thank you so much! I saw your entry of the THREE BEARS and wanted to comment on it, but was unable to on your site. Wow! It may be the cutest illustration of the 3 bears I have EVER seen! The first link that you posted was not active so I was not able to view it. Hope it gets fixed! I didn’t realize that you “wear both hats” as an illustrator AND a writer! : D


      • Cathy, you can post on the site (though it’s not “officially” launched yet). The first link was me goofing! I actually pasted in the link to my blog edit page! lol I panicked at first ’til I realized no one else could see that the way I could. Susanna’s removing the bum link now 🙂 And yes, I do both *sigh*


  3. Cathy,

    Love it, love it, love it. So colorful and I’m also glad you posted the story. I was wondering about the frogs until I read it. Paw-some work!
    ~Cool Mom (and the Gang)


  4. This is a beautiful cover, but I’ve seen your work and would expect nothing less. I love the house and the pink smoke from the chimney makes me think the witch heats her house with cotton candy. I’ve got to get you to show me how you do this. Maybe make a video. Seriously, I love your work and really want to learn.


    • Thank you so much, Sue! Your kind words mean the world to me. Learning the Adobe drawing programs will make you pull your hair out. We don’t want you to be bald. Mine is finally growing out after taking several on-line classes, and that is after being already very familiar with the programs. Okay, seriously, it can be very frustrating but I DO encourage you to try a class. Just do it! : D


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