Picture Book Recommendation: ROOM ON THE BROOM

Cover of Room on the Broom
I may be 33-years old, but I will always love dressing up in my Supergirl costume. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, and it’s definitely the only time my kids will ever call me Supermom. Usually, the things they say about are much less flattering, although I have to admit that so far, neither of them has called me a witch, which brings me to today’s recommendation.

“The witch had a cat
and a hat that was black,
And long ginger hair
in a braid down her back.
How the cat purred
and how the witch grinned,
As they sat on their broomstick
and flew through the wind.”

In celebration of Halloween, today’s perfect picture book is Room on the Broom. In addition to being an amusing rhyming tale, the book also teaches kids the proper way to ride a broom. In style. With a pool. Yes, I did say “with a pool.” This is, without a doubt…

“A TRULY MAGNIFICENT BROOM!

With seats for the witch
and the cat and the dog.
A nest for the bird and
a pool for the frog.”

Can you imagine relaxing in a pool on a broom as it flies through a moonlit night? The illustrator definitely can. His dark palette fits the Halloween theme, but the cartoon-like characters are not at all spooky. The illustrations are simple, which works well with rhyme. My kids were quiet the whole time I read this story. They stared at the pages in rapt attention without interrupting every half sentence, “What’s that?” Instead, they absorbed the story of a witch who gains a friend when she loses her hat. Obviously, this witch displays much better manners than the bear in I Want My Hat Back.

Overall, Room on the Broom is an entertaining non-scary Halloween tale, featuring a friendly witch, which children of all ages will enjoy. In the words of my six-year old, “That’s one cool broom!” Oh, and did I mention there’s a pool on the broom?

Themes:

Halloween, Witches, Dragons, Flying, Friendship, Kindness, Rhyming Books

Resources:

Busy Bee Kids Crafts has a project for an Easy Witch Broom made of paper.

If you prefer to make a broom of yarn and pipe cleaners, check out the Mini Halloween Witch’s Brooms at Make and Takes.

For a functional broom, try this Broomstick Bookmark from Activity Village.

No matter which broom you choose, you’ll need a witch’s hat to go along with it. About.com has instructions for making a Witch’s Hat out of construction paper. There’s also a great video to demonstrate.

The Overture Center for the Arts has a very comprehensive Educator’s Resource Guide with projects, discussion questions, and a history of witches and paganism.

Perfect Picture Book List on Susanna Leonard Hill’s Blog

Bibliographic Info:

Author: Julia Donaldson
Illustrator: Axel Scheffler
Reading level: Ages 4 and up
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: Puffin; Reprint edition (August 25, 2003)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0142501123
ISBN-13: 978-0142501122

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