Druscilla's Halloween

( 1 )

Overview

Did witches always ride brooms? No! In fact, long, long ago, witches crept about on tiptoe. On Halloween, they would scare children and cast spells . . . but always from the ground. No witch ever thought of flying - no witch until Druscilla. Druscilla was an old witch with the loudest, creakiest knees anyone had ever heard. But she was determined not to let anything spoil her element of surprise. One Halloween, after many failed attempts at sneaking up on unsuspecting villagers, Druscilla made a discovery that ...

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Overview

Did witches always ride brooms? No! In fact, long, long ago, witches crept about on tiptoe. On Halloween, they would scare children and cast spells . . . but always from the ground. No witch ever thought of flying - no witch until Druscilla. Druscilla was an old witch with the loudest, creakiest knees anyone had ever heard. But she was determined not to let anything spoil her element of surprise. One Halloween, after many failed attempts at sneaking up on unsuspecting villagers, Druscilla made a discovery that changed the course of witch history.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this underdog story set “a million spells ago,” Druscilla, the “ricketiest witch of all,” lives in a mountaintop house outside town. Back then, witches used to tiptoe to do their “spooking and spelling.” But with her creaky knees, Druscilla lacks the “element of surprise.” After an awkward donkey ride and a soggy re-enactment of Icarus's flight, she hatches an idea: “Blood of worms, wings of bees,/ A quiet flight for noisy knees./ Up and down, around the room/ Get up and fly, you beautiful broom!” The physical humor will entertain, though readers may wish for more views of Druscilla's triumphant flight. Ages 5–9. (Aug.)
Children's Literature - Ellen Welty
In ancient times, before witches had the convenience of modern broomflight, they had to tiptoe around scaring children on Halloween. Poor Druscilla has knees that creak so loudly that she cannot sneak up on anyone or anything, but she does not want to miss her favorite Halloween activity. In desperation she tries to cast a spell on her donkey to make him carry her and her cat to town to scare children. The donkey refuses to be enchanted by the spell she casts, and she has to think up another strategy. Her attempts include riding in her wheelbarrow (it crashes), gluing feathers to her arms to make herself fly (they fall off when they get wet in the rain) and as she is sweeping them up, she has an idea. This time her magic spell works, and Druscilla has just invented modern witch transportation. This funny and entertaining tale of the invention of the flying broom will delight younger readers. The illustrations add to the humor and the charm of the story. Reviewer: Ellen Welty
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3—In the days before witches rode brooms, they snuck up on people on foot during Halloween to scare them. Druscilla, the oldest of all the witches, had knees that cracked and popped so loudly that she couldn't surprise anyone. Not one to be left behind, she looked for other means of frightening people. First she tried to ride her donkey, but it was too stubborn to fall under her spell. Next she tried the wheelbarrow, but it was too hard to steer. Then she turned her arms into wings by pasting feathers to them. Flying worked well until it began to rain. Her "ah ha!" moment came as she swept up the feathers. The broom would be perfect: a seat for her, a place to hold her jack-o'-lantern, plus a perch for her cat. All of the other witches agreed, and at the next worldwide witches council, broomsticks were voted in. The use of various fonts and their placement among the illustrations adds emphasis and visual interest to Walker's text. The atmospheric spreads have just the right amount of spookiness and ample touches of humor.—Catherine Callegari, Gay-Kimball Library, Troy, NH
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780822589419
  • Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/1/2009
  • Series: Carolrhoda Picture Bks
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 126,531
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.90 (w) x 9.80 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Sally M. Walker is the author of more than 50 books for children including the 2006 Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal winner, Secrets of a Civil War Submarine: Solving the Mystery of the H.L. Hunley. When Sally was a young girl, one of her favorite pastimes was making mysterious potions from twigs, leaves, berries, and other ingredients. To her dismay, none of them made the family's broom fly. Sally lives in DeKalb, Illinois, with her husband and three cats. Lee White's first illustration job was to create a picture for a billboard along Highway 100 in San Jose. He has since learned that he likes illustrating children's books much better! An honors graduate of the Art Center College of Design, he lives in Portland with his wife, Lisa, and their three crazy cats. Druscilla's Halloween is his eighth book.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    enjoyable Halloween story

    Did you ever wonder why witches ride brooms? Well, as author Sally M. Walker tells it, the story all began a million spells ago with an ancient witch named Druscilla. In those days, witches crept about on tiptoe and scared children on Halloween from the ground. But Druscilla had the loudest, creakiest knees that anyone had ever heard, so she could not surprise people. Her knees even sent rabbits, squirrels, and fireflies scurrying. Not to be denied her fun, one Halloween, she tried several different ways to be sneaky--riding a donkey, rolling in a wheelbarrow, even making wings with chicken feathers so that she could fly. However, all these attempts failed. Then, as she was sweeping up the feathers, she had a brilliant idea. Can you guess what it was? This delightful tale of Druscilla's Halloween, a little spooky but not too scarry for small children, along with the fascinating illustrations by Lee White, will be a welcomed addition to the Halloween literature for kindergartners and elementary age students. I found it enjoyable.

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