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Two Little Witches: A Halloween Counting Story Hardcover – September 2, 1996

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Little goblins learn to count to 10 with this yarn?and they'll pick up some good costume ideas, too. What is counted are trick-or-treating friends: two witches who meet up with a clown, a skeleton, and so forth. Nothing macabre whatsoever here?just happy, brightly colored characters on a slightly spooky mission for candy. Ages 2-5.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 1-A simple counting story for group sharing and beginning readers. One little witch plus another little witch add (one at a time) a clown, skeleton, striped cat, and so forth, to their retinue until there are "ten trick-or-treaters going trick-or-treating in the dark on Halloween night." Encountering a monster at a spooky old house, all scatter until only the two little witches remain. One rides off on her broomstick and the other walks home and counts her treats, leaving none. The text is simple and the addition predictable, ideal for novice mathematicians. The phrases "going trick-or-treating" and "in the dark on Halloween night" are used repeatedly, but do not build a strong rhythm or invite children to join in the oral reading, as does Sue Alexander's Who Goes Out on Halloween? (Bantam, 1990). Taback's large, primitive, watercolor-and-ink cartoons are especially delightful, though, both spooky with bold uses of black backgrounds and reassuringly familiar with the obviously homemade costumes. And Ziefert's surprise ending is a nice bonus.
Claudia Cooper, Ft. Stockton Independent School District, TX
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 800L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick; 1st edition (September 2, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1564026213
  • ISBN-13: 978-1564026217
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 8.5 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,403,308 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Harriet Ziefert was born in New Jersey. She grew up in North Bergen, New Jersey, where she attended the local schools. She graduated from Smith College, then received a Masters degree in Education from New York University. "About twelve years ago," says Ziefert in a 1995 interview, "I tried to get a job as an editor, but no one would hire me as a trade editor. So I decided to write my own books." Since then, she has written several hundred books, mostly picture books and easy-to-read books. "I write books very quickly," she says, "in about twelve hours. I rewrite them three times over three days, and then they're done." She writes about twenty books a year. Ziefert's picture book A New Coat for Anna is about a girl in a bombed-out European city during the months just after World War II. Anna has outgrown her old coat, and her mother trades her few surviving treasures--a watch, a lamp, a necklace, and a porcelain teapot--in order to obtain wool and have it spun, woven, and finally sewn into a fine red coat for Anna. A Horn Book Magazine reviewer stated, "the simple text, based on a true story, carries the narrative along effectively." The book, which was illustrated by Anita Lobel, was chosen as one of ten books to be read aloud by former First Lady Barbara Bush as part of a program promoting reading. Ziefert was invited to the White House for the occasion. The reason Ziefert began writing easy-to-read books was that she felt "they were getting too hard for kids to read in the first grade." She says that she wrote easy-to-read books with seventy-five or fewer words, even ones with fifty or fewer words, "to see how much of a story" she could produce with that limit. She enjoyed the challenge, and cites her book Sleepy Dog as an example. "Sleepy Dog is the most successful book I've ever done, in terms of number of books sold." She's also been working on a developmental program with publisher Dorling Kindersley, made up of books for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. Her book Pete's Chicken, which was illustrated by Laura Rader, was reviewed in the New York Times Book Review as "a simple, sweet 'Song of Myself' for children . . . [which] applauds the specialness of every child as it reminds parents of the healing power of just being there for children." Among her other books is a series of easy-to-read books, such as Trip Day and Worm Day, about an inventive science teacher and his rambunctious class of students. Ziefert's book Let's Get a Pet was named an Outstanding Science Trade Book for Children by a joint committee of the National Science Teachers Association and the Children's Book Council. . Ms. Ziefert lives in Maplewood, New Jersey and Lincoln, Massachusetts. She has two adult sons.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 6 customer reviews
Good math skill reinforcer, too!
B. Crawford
Both of those books my son loves and wants to read several times a day!
The illustrations really capture their imagination.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 1, 1999
Format: Paperback
My child loves this book. We have been reading it almost every day since we got it. The book has a very engaging structure - counting to 10 - and it leads up to a not too scary climax with a Halloween "monster" that is very thrilling. The rhythm of the book makes it pleasing to read, and the illustrations are great: both colorful and amusing.
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Format: Board book Verified Purchase
10/17/14 Revision on my original review:
Well, as it now turns out, three 3 weeks later, my son actually likes this book now. It is now one of the top 10 books he wants to read, so he's enjoying it's simplicity I guess. We now read between 20 and 40 books every single day (yes, we read a lot, and space them out through out the day....I got lucky that my little one has an unusually long attention span.) and he shows preference to certain books that he wants to read a few times everyday on top of our variety. I stand by my original comments regarding the story and graphics, but my opinion on it isn't nearly as important as my son's happiness, so I revised from a two star to a four star.
Original review:
I was surprised of the positive reviews for this book when I received my copy. The story is far from thrilling, the graphics are extremely poor, and it couldn't hold the interest of my 11 month old child. We read at a minimum of 16 books every single day, and he is enthralled and extremely enthusiastic for almost all the other books we have, but this one leaves so much to be desired. The story line is very plain~basically the same two lines alternately repeated but just adding a different "trick or treater" until you get to 10. The graphics look like a 10 year old did them, poorly done and bland. I would suggest getting Five Black Cats ( if you are looking for a good fun Halloween book, or Doggies by Sandra Boynton ( if you want a good and fun counting book. Both of those books my son loves and wants to read several times a day!
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Format: Paperback
Like Taback's "I Know an Old Lady...", the illustrations in this book are wonderfully detailed.

I read this to my Kindergarten class every year, they enjoy the repetitive prose and can relate to trick-or-treating with their friends.

Good math skill reinforcer, too!
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