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  • A Very Brave Witch...and More Great Halloween Stories for Kids (Scholastic Storybook Treasures)
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A Very Brave Witch...and More Great Halloween Stories for Kids (Scholastic Storybook Treasures)

15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

One Halloween, a little witch decides to see what humans are really like. Plus seven more slightly scary stories: By the Light of the Halloween Moon; A Dark, Dark tale; Georgie; The Witch in the Cherry Tree; The Three-legged Cat; The Three Robbers, and Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain.

A VERY BRAVE WITCH (Written by Alison McGhee, illustrated by Harry Bliss, narrated by Elle Fanning) One Halloween, a little witch decides to see what humans are really like.

BY THE LIGHT OF THE HALLOWEEN MOON (Written by Caroline Stutson, illustrated by Kevin Hawkes, narrated by Sherry Stringfield) A brave girl would rather play a trick than be gobbled up as a treat.

A DARK, DARK TALE (Written and illustrated by Ruth Brown) Take a spooky journey up dark stairs and through hidden passages. Being scared has never been so much fun!

GEORGIE (Written and illustrated by Robert Bright, narrated by David DeVries) A friendly ghost looks for a new house to haunt when he feels unwanted by the Whittaker family.

4 BONUS STORIES!

THE WITCH IN THE CHERRY TREE (Written by Margaret Mahy, illustrated by Jenny Williams) David and his mother must find a way to protect their freshly baked cakes from the tricky witch in the cherry tree.

THE THREE-LEGGED CAT (Written by Margaret Mahy, illustrated by Jonathan Allen) Tom, the pegged-legged cat is mistaken for a hat in this hilarious tale of mistaken identity.

THE THREE ROBBERS (Written and illustrated by Tomi Ungerer) A little orphan girl sets three robbers straight, turning their gold to good.

LITTLE TIM AND THE BRAVE SEA CAPTAIN (Written and illustrated by Edward Ardizzone) Little Tim finally has the chance to become a sailor and experience life on the high seas.

Amazon.com

Halloween can be a dark and spooky time of year, but nowhere is it written that witches and ghosts have to be scary. "A Very Brave Witch" twists the common perception of witches to reveal that most witches are actually afraid of people, thanks to humans' lack of green coloring, fear of flying, failure to cackle, and other perceived oddities. The brave little witch in this story is fascinated with humans and, after doing some research, decides to get a close-up look at some human children on Halloween night. What she discovers is a young human who's just as brave as she is. "A Dark, Dark Tale" follows a black cat through a dark moor and a spooky old house to find a surprise lurking in a dark corner, and "By the Light of the Halloween Moon" is a cumulative-structure poem, reminiscent of the song "There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly," in which a tapping toe sets off a chain reaction that involves a witch, a bat, a ghoul, and several others. "Georgie" is the story of a cute little ghost who feels unappreciated by his human family and runs away only to realize that he and the family really need one another. "The Witch in the Cherry Tree" depicts an intelligent young boy who uses his wits to outsmart a witch and protect his freshly baked cakes, and "The Three Legged Cat" is a humorous tale about a peg-legged cat whose yearning for travel and adventure gets satisfied as a result of a case of mistaken identity. In "The Three Robbers," a young orphan girl turns a band of robbers' misdeeds into something good, and in "Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain," a young boy stows away on a steamer and journeys out to sea. These eight captivating stories feature original illustrations that are either animated or filmed with simple camera pans, skillful narration, optional onscreen read-along words, and fun music. What a perfect way to celebrate the witching season without fears or tears. (Ages 3 to 7) --Tami Horiuchi

Q&A with Alison McGhee, Author of A Very Brave Witch

Who are you inspired by in the world of children's literature?

This is a tough question, because I'm inspired by so many authors both past and present. Someof my favorites include Ezra Jack Keats, Maurice Sendak, the Hobans, Laura Ingalls Wilder, M.T. Anderson and Kevin Henkes.

What were some of your favorite children's books growing up?

I lived and breathed the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, and I loved "My Side of the Mountain," by Jean Craighead George and Swiss Family Robinson, by Johann Wyss. (I wanted to be a pioneer girl, and barring that, I wanted to live in a treehouse or in a hollow tree.) I also loved Mickey in the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak and all of Robert McCloskey's picture books.

How did you get inspired to write A Very Brave Witch?

My friend Harry Bliss's favorite holiday is Halloween. He wanted to write a Halloween book but preferred to have me do the words. Since I like to write and he likes to draw, we were a good pair. I liked the idea of writing from a witch's point of view, and the story grew from there.

While the story is fanciful, there are some real-life lessons here about friendship, cultural diversity, and curiosity. How have kids responded to this story??

Kids seem to love the book for the illustrations and the humor and the little witch's bravery, including her personal interpretation of the meaning of "Trick or Treat." Adults tend to be the ones who appreciate the cultural diversity aspect of the book.

What do you think of Harry Bliss' illustrations?

They're great. The colors he chose, the dark Halloween sky, and that long vertical double-page spread are all wonderful. And Harry's always funny--he makes kids and grownups laugh.

Were you involved in the development of the animated version of your story? How did this production (animation, narration, music) affect the story, in your opinion?

I was not involved in the development of the animated version, but I've certainly enjoyed watching it. A writer tends to be nervous about the translation of her words to the screen, but the movie version stays completely true to the story, so it was purely pleasurable.

Did you ever dress up as a witch for Halloween when you were a kid? What's your favorite Halloween experience?

I did dress up every year for Halloween, because I loved getting a big bag of candy. But I was a lazy child when it came to costumes, so I usually just stuffed a pillow under one of my dad's oversize t-shirts, attached a stuffed bandana to a stick, and trick or treated as a hobo. Lame, I know. But I still got the candy.

What's your favorite Halloween candy?

Miniature Butterfingers!

What are you working on now? Are there any more Alison McGhee stories that will be adapted for the small screen?

I'm working on several picture books right now, including So Many Days and Snowman, both of which come out next year. And I'm writing another children's novel in my Julia Gillian series. And I'm looking ahead to next year, when I want to get busy writing a historical novel for adults.

• Try our A Very Brave Witch coloring sheet


Product Details

  • Actors: Elle Fanning, Sherry Stringfield
  • Directors: Scholastic
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Animated, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: New Video Group
  • DVD Release Date: September 29, 2009
  • Run Time: 62 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002FU8J8S
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #38,391 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Alex Honda on October 6, 2009
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The A VERY BRAVE WITCH...AND MORE GREAT HALLOWEEN STORIES FOR KIDS from Scholastic is another treat for kids and adults who enjoy light-hearted stories and limited animation.

There are eight short stories on this set. Four of which are full animation (A Very Brave Witch, The Witch In The Cherry Tree, The Three-Legged Cat and The Three Robbers) and the other four (A Dark, Dark Tale, By The Light Of The Halloween Moon[limited animation], Georgie, Little Tim And The Brave Sea Captain) are just still images with camera pans.

Each story is narrated and make perfect bedtime stories for kids (or adults like me who enjoy these types of story-telling/old-fashion cartoons). Each story is delightful and include read-a-long text, which you can turn off as well.

Now the reason for the one-star deduction is because four of the offerings have already been released on another set from Scholastic. "By The Light Of The Halloween Moon," "A Dark, Dark Tale," "Georgie," and "The Three Robbers" were already available on
The Teacher from the Black Lagoon... and More Slightly Scary Stories (Scholastic Video Collection) .

Also, since this DVD set is being marketed as "Halloween Stories" three of the stories (The Three-Legged Cat, The Three Robbers and Little Tim And The Brave Sea Captain) aren't really Halloween related or spooky. They're wonderful stories but seem out of place on a Halloween DVD.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Chelle on November 7, 2011
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When I saw the Scholastic label on the movie I was quick to think that this movie would be great for my three daughters.

We popped it into the DVD player and I was automatically very disappointed. Maybe all Scholastic movies are like this, but with this being our first, I had no idea that it wasn't animated. It was like a story was being read--just pages of a book with the words on the bottom.

If your children are a little older perhaps this would be more interesting. But for my 4 year old and 2 year old? No way. They were over this movie within minutes.
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The Halloween Stories Collection
18 Stories on 3 DVDs, being released October 26, 2010

Scholastic Storybook Treasures is releasing 18 of their kid-friendly Halloween stories bringing books to life in a way that will get the children excited for the holiday without freaking them out. Scholastic claims this set encourages cooperation, early reading skills, and problem solving. It includes some narration from Elle Fanning and Calista Flockhart among other celebrities but the focus here is on the classic stories. The first DVD includes "A Very Brave Witch", "By the Light of the Halloween Moon", "A Dark, Dark Tale", "Georgie", "The Witch in the Cherry Tree", "The Three-legged Cat", "The Three Robbers", and "Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain." The second DVD is a collection of stories by Maurice Sendak. It includes "Where the Wild Things Are", "In the Night Kitchen", "Alligators All Around", "One was Johnny", "Chicken Soup with Rice" (mmmm), and "Pierre." The last DVD includes the slightly scary (but not really) stories of "The Teacher from the Black Lagoon", "The Librarian from the Black Lagoon", "The Gym Teacher from the Black Lagoon" (Clearly, this is a location of prime real estate.), and "Shrinking Violet."

Bonus Features:

There are Spanish and French versions of "Where the Wild Things Are", a featurette on author Maurice Sendak, interviews with author Mike Thaler and illustrator Jared Lee, read-alongs, and discussion questions for comprehension.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tara F. Chace on September 9, 2011
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we've had this out from the library more than 5 times It's finally time to buy it. My son has loved it since he was 3.
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This product was delivered as promised my kids were so happy to recieve something halloweenie in the mail! The dvd is an absolute must for getting in the spirit of fall and great for kids to see story books come alive we were so happy with it. I definately recommend it!
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By Grammy M on September 30, 2014
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My 5 year old grandson is having a blast listening/watching these Halloween stories as the holiday approaches! Different and unique, cute!
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By Keri Schow on June 22, 2014
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This will work quite well in my various aged classrooms. I enjoy having the books on a DVD to review as well. Thank you.
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Loved all the stories , dark dark tale was the best....my grandkids were mesmerized , the stories & narration was great
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