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The Witch Family Paperback – September 1, 2000


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 and up
  • Grade Level: 3 - 5
  • Series: Young Classic
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (September 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 015202610X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152026103
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.2 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #365,178 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

ELEANOR ESTES (1906-1988), a children's librarian for many years, launched her writing career with the publication of The Moffats in 1941.

From AudioFile

Amy, almost 7, and her best friend, Clarissa, like nothing better than sitting together to draw pictures and make up stories about mean Old Witch. When they banish their favorite character to the barren glass hill theyve drawn, Old Witch is so miserable and cranky that Amy sketches a little girl and a baby to keep her company. While all the traditional elements of scary fantasy are present here, Jane Jacobss crisp, smiling voice persuades listeners that all will be well even when she uses a crotchety voice for scheming Old Witch. The story is full of delicious vocabulary, puns, rhymes, and spelling, most often through the unusual voice of Malachi, the magic spelling bumblebee. R.H.H. © AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

More About the Author

ELEANOR ESTES (1906-1988), a children's librarian for many years, launched her writing career with the publication of The Moffats in 1941. Two of her books about the Moffats are Newbery Honor books, as is The Hundred Dresses. She won the Newbery Medal for Ginger Pye in 1952.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 39 customer reviews
One of my favorite childhood books.
A. Merritt
I just recently found it in the local public library and have read it to my third grade class.
"shmendrick"
And anyone who loved it as a child will enjoy reading it again as an adult.
R R

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 51 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 29, 2001
Format: Paperback
It has been 30 years since I have seen this book--I never owned it, and it was a non-circulating book in the local children's library-- but the summer I turned seven, I spent hours reading this book day by day in the children's section of the library at Lincoln Center while my parents did their graduate work upstairs in the adult collection. I still vividly recall the characters: Amy with hair the color of moonlight whose mother gave her a lambchop for lunch each day, Clarissa with hair the color of sunlight whose mother gave her spaghetti for lunch each day, Malachi the Bumblebee, and, of course, the make-believe characters Hannah and her baby sister and the Old Witch and the mermaids who lived in the Big Glass Hill. Back in those days, we did not have any super-heros (no female ones, anyway), no Wonder Woman, no Warrior Princesses capering across the TV in their undies, not even Sailor Moon and co., and so if you wanted to make believe you could fly, Hannah the Little Witch Girl was all there was. My friends and I used to pretend to be Hannah and Amy and Clarissa in a gem-studded forest landscape taken from James Thurber's The White Deer. On imaginary broomsticks, we careened around stuffy apartments full of couches and dining chairs holding loquatious, boring adults. The book also holds appeal for the child with a systematic mind--the sort of child who types out alphabetical lists of dinosaur species will also enjoy writing out alphabetical compendia of all the runes spoken in the story!
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 12, 1998
Format: Turtleback
For more than 30 years, I've been searching for a copy of The Witch Family. It's been in libraries but I couldn't remember the proper title or author until one day last year, I stumbled upon listings for Eleanor Estes quite by accident. I quickly grabbed up a beaten up copy (which was very comforting....it looked just like the one I used to repeatedly check out of the library back in the 1960's!). I stood there and hugged the book and then rushed home and tried to explain to my husband that I was 8 years old again and I had business with Amy, Clarissa and the little witch girl to attend to. Why is this book so special? I don't know...Maybe because I moved a lot and always had to make new friends, where Amy and Clarissa were inseparable best friends. Maybe because of the wonderful imagery and fantasy level: the fear and fascination of witches and the idea of a sweet baby witch girl conjured up by the girls' drawings. There was also a mermaid and baby mermaid...what little girl wouldn't be in heaven with all these characters? I think another attraction of the book is that it's virtually adult-free. There is a wicked old witch but even her actions are controlled by Amy and Clarissa. I believed in this book wholeheartedly. I could picture the girls trick or treating on Halloween, I could hear the effect their stopped up noses had on their voices when they had to stay in because they had colds, I believed that if I looked closely at the moon, I'd see the little witch girl, baby in tow, on her broomstick. I love this book. When I finally re-discovered it, I was returned to my childhood.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 14, 2000
Format: Hardcover
When I was a little girl I loved all books having to do with magic, and especially witches. This book was my all-time favorite. I checked it out of the library so many times that eventually the card in the back was filled up with my signature on both sides!
This book is about magic, but it's also about the power of imagination. The Witch family, all though very real in their own right, have been created out of the mind of little girl who's mother first introduced her to them. Amy appoints herself caretaker to the witch family, and through the pictures she draws of them she can keep tabs on all that is going on in their world "up on the great glass moutain".
A benchmark of good childrens literature, this book holds up under the test of time. I have re-read it as an adult and still enjoyed it very much. I can't wait until my own children are old enough for me to share it with them.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 25, 2001
Format: Paperback
...and a penchant for magically mysterious stories and fairy tales, of COURSE I read this book over and over again as a little girl. The first time I discovered it, I was 7. And it was dog-eared then, and worse after the 100th reading...it's a great book. Full of love, magic, and pretty thoughts. Of Halloween nights the like of which will never happen again...sigh. Are you looking for a fun birthday or Christmas present for a dreamy bookworm of a girl? If she loved the Harry Potter series, she will adore this one as well. May I also suggest George Macdonald's beautiful lyrical The Light Princess and The Golden Key (the Sendak illustrations). All gorgeous, all lovely, all to be read over and over again.
Here's to Swinging in Gingko Trees and Fat Little Bumblebees,
Amy
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Nonesuch Explorers on February 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Forty years before Harry Potter, there was Hannah.
Bookstore displays which feature "if you like Harry Potter you might like these" should place this book and LeGuin's "A Wizard of Earthsea" in prominent view.
What is most satisfying about this story is that it is simultaneously real and imaginary; the events take place, but are also somewhat directed and controlled by the imaginations of the two human girls at their drawing table in Washington, so that, in a way, they are witches too. This is the same premise as Pamela Dean's "Secret Country", and creates the same complications. But this book is easier for much younger children to read, making a good introduction to the concepts.
This was out of Estes' usual territory, and she handled it with both silly fun and knowledgeable grace. Ardizzone's done his homework as well; look at the posters on the walls at Hannah's school. I would give this to any child six years old and up.
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