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Room on the Broom Paperback – August 25, 2003


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Series: Picture Puffins
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin; Reprint edition (August 25, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142501123
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142501122
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 0.1 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (361 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,155 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

There's always room for one more on this affable witch's broomstick... or is there? In another mild-mannered tale from the creators of the Smarties Prize-winning picture book, The Gruffalo, a witch and her happily purring cat fly through the wind on their broomstick, without a care in the world, until the witch's black hat blows away. In the process of retrieving it, they pick up another passenger, a polite and helpful dog. All goes well until the witch's hair bow flies off. And then her wand. And then real disaster strikes--in the shape of a big red dragon, a broken broom, and some very important (but notably absent) friends. Julia Donaldson's story, though not earthshaking in plot or rhyme, is a pleasant way to pass the time leading up to the witching hour (Halloween!) especially when paired with the friendly illustrations by Axel Scheffler. Readers will especially love the final illustration, in which our heroes solve their space problems once and for all. (Ages 4 to 7) --Emilie Coulter --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

In this lightweight, witty story, helpful animals find "room on the broom" of a generous witch. At first, a striped cat accompanies the cheerful sorceress: "How the cat purred/ and how the witch grinned,/ As they sat on their broomstick/ and flew through the wind." Next, a spotted dog retrieves the witch's flyaway black hat and asks to come aboard. The three riders soon welcome a green parrot (who finds the witch's lost hair ribbon) and a frog (who rescues her wand from the bottom of a pond). When threatened by a dragon, the loyal animals form a "Brementown Musicians" chimera whose "terrible voice,/ when it started to speak,/ was a yowl and a growl/ and a croak and a shriek." The witch repays them by conjuring a cushier vehicle. Donaldson and Scheffler, previously paired for The Gruffalo, emphasize the airborne animals' contentment and evoke sympathy for the broom's driver. In Scheffler's comical panels and insets, the witch has a warty nose and lace-up boots, but wears a pleasant smile; Donaldson puts a spooky/silly spin on the folktale format. The metrical rhyme and goofy suspense aren't groundbreaking, but readers will likely find it refreshing to see a witch playing against type. Ages 4-8.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

Julia Donaldson is the author of many successful books for children, including the classic THE GRUFFALO, which has won the Smarties Prize and the Blue Peter Award for the Best Book to Read Aloud. THE GRUFFALO'S CHILD was one of the biggest best-sellers of 2004 and won WHS Children's Book of the Year at the British Book Awards. Julia has also written many children's plays and songs, and runs regular storytelling and drama workshops. She lives in Glasgow with her family.

Customer Reviews

Perfect mix of fun rhymes, cute pictures and wonderful story.
K. Tropper
Funny, that this is the first book my husband picks up every night to read to our daughter.
E. Felsen
I love reading this book to my then 3 and now 4 year old daughter.
Kirstyloo

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

106 of 109 people found the following review helpful By Tanya on August 9, 2003
Format: Hardcover
My 3.5-year-old son loves this book. The illustrations are clever and charming and the simple, repetitive rhymes are perfect for young listeners. It is a joy to read aloud. It is one of my top 10 books to give as a gift. A witch and her cat are flying around and encounter three other animals that would like to know if there is room on the broom for an animal like them. The reply is always an enthusiastic "Yes!" (Now who wouldn't like a ride on a broom?) This book is generally not found on bookstore shelves because it is considered a Halloween book, but it is fun reading any time of year. After numerous renewals from the library, we purchased our own copy. (We also own and highly recommend "The Spiffiest Giant in Town" and "The Gruffalo.")

When our Amazon ordered book came in the mail, my husband read it and noticed that his favorite line said by the dragon, "witch without fries" is not in the book! We like the original verse, "The dragon drew near with a glint in his eyes, and said, "Just this once I'll have witch without fries." That has been replaced with "The dragon drew nearer and started to drool. He said, "I won't let you go- do you think I'm a fool?"

I believe the publisher has corrected the problem. Either way, you'll be happy to own it! Every time I am in the children's section of my local library, I look up Donaldson on the shelves and take out her books to put up on top for parents to see it and easily grab it. Children (and parents) get a beautifully illustrated story which highlight friendship, cooperation, politeness and generosity. (My son is 6 now and my daughter is 2. I love that I can still read this book to them and they love it!)
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Rune reader on September 13, 2002
Format: Hardcover
What a fun book for Halloween or anytime!
The book offers a gentle lesson in cooperation as the animals work together to rescue their friend. (It's a dirty job, but somebody had to do it--you'll see what I mean when you read the book.)
The rhymes work well for reading aloud and the vividly colored illustrations are full of details that little children will want to look at again and again.
For the most part the characters are smiling (except, of course, when the dragon tries to eat the witch). Even the youngest child will not feel threatened by either the characters or the plot.
I have a feeling this is going to be the featured story at my Halloween story hours this year.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By E. Felsen on December 12, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Funny, that this is the first book my husband picks up every night to read to our daughter. He asked me to buy all of her books! He loves her style and the illustrations are excellent. My daughter loves this book and it is not scary at all! Buy this book and her others you will not be disappointed!
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After checking out this book from the library, my son was requesting it daily. We couldn't wait to add it to our personal library permanently, but when it arrived, the text was different from the version we had grown to love.

Instead of the adorable text:
"A witch with french fries tastes delicious to me!" and "Just this once I'll have witch WITHOUT fries!"
we found the unappetizing text:
"And you, witch, look like a good supper to me" and "He said, 'I won't let you go, do you think I'm a fool?'"

Say what?!

Others have experienced the same thing, so please go and look at a physical copy in a book store instead of ordering through Amazon if you want to be guaranteed the original (and far superior!) version.

This copy is going back to Amazon, and I've already talked to Barnes and Noble about getting the correct version. It's worth the extra 3 bucks. The original version gets a perfect 5 star rating, but we are completely disappointed in what Amazon shipped to us.
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Mom of two on July 5, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
We loved this book when we checked it out from the library. Unfortunately, in the copy we ordered, two of the best verses were changed. Fortunately there were some other reviews talking about this problem, so I knew to check. What a disappointment--the "witch with french fries sounds delicious to me!" and "I think just this once I'll have witch without fries" lines are some of my son's favorites. In the changed version they are replaced with bland alternatives, and one verse doesn't even scan anymore. Many thanks to the reviewers who alerted me, or I would have had a very confused and sad little birthday boy.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Krista -F on June 29, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I have kids ages six and seven. I started reading this book to them when they were about four and they have loved it since then. Even though they have had it for a few years, they still take it out to read, that's a good sign!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Kathryn Tate on April 16, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is just a perfect book for reading aloud.

My children never tire of hearing the lyrical prose and I have read it in classrooms too with all eyes and ears glued to the words.

Julia Donaldson has a way to make the book enticing to the child and still very enjoyable for the adult who reads it to them.

The illustrations are beautiful too.

I highly recommend this and in fact all of Julia's books.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Carla Loughran on October 31, 2001
Format: Hardcover
My girls, ages two and four, love this book and so do I! It's a clever rhyme and a sweet story that teaches a subtle lesson about how doing things for others can ultimately benefit oneself. I also appreciate how everything is not spelled out for the reader and there are some portions near the end that the child has to figure out. Very clever -- my favorite Halloween book this year. Nevertheless, this book is not Halloween-specific, and is definitely appropriate for any time of the year.
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