Kids Lit Special: Room on the Broom (2001)

It’s been a long week, folks, so I’m not going to write about century-old classics tonight… Just another kind of classic: a kids’ favorite, and a favorite of mine, that I wanted to mention here after reading about other childhood books.

“I’m a dragon as mean as can be, and witch with French fries tastes delicious to me.”

This is the one quote my toddler boy (16 month old) gets every day, and we both can’t get enough of it, especially as we’re French!

The Gruffalo from Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler was a favorite at our place when the big brother started kindergarten, but we all fell into the broom story a bit later on. In fact, I am the most enamored of the three: the big boy is a tad too old, and the baby loves the rhyming sing-song and the dog, cat and “crack!”, but he sure don’t get the story in details, especially as I read it in English. (yes, I have translated to them, but it’s less fun without the rhymes)

I love the rhythm, the structural repetitions with slight changes at each round, I love the practical details (to dry the wet magic wand in the fold of the black cloak) and the tongue in cheek wit. To me, it’s a great book for fun and adventures, for team spirit, for gratefulness and generosity (take on all those friends who helped you along the way, even if you don’t think you have room for everyone!) I kind of wish I would know it by heart, and if I continue reading it every day or so, this dream will pretty soon be fulfilled!

What’s your favorite picture book for kids? If you have kids, what’s the one book you practically knew by heart?


5 thoughts on “Kids Lit Special: Room on the Broom (2001)

  1. Donaldson and Scheffler have a ton of other goodies in store, but the most popular one in our household is Tiddler, the fish who tells tall tales at school (one of Donaldson’s customary puns!) to explain why he’s always late, until one day his stories bring him back home. My kid turned into a specialist in marine zoology after that, and the illustrations are particularly enjoyable (including an avatar of the Gruffalo, reincarnated into mean-looking fish – which I totally missed but was pointed out to me by a sharp-eyed 3-year-old

  2. My boys also loved all of the Donaldson/Scheffler books. And we had the added pleasure of seeing ‘Room on the Broom’ at the theatre, as a musical, in which the broom was a bit updated to a Harley Davidson (almost) motorised broom. It was very funny and very cleverly adapted. The BBC has also done annual animated adaptations of Julia Donaldson’s books for the past few years now: The Gruffalo, The Gruffalo’s Child, Room on the Broom and I think Stick Man coming up in 2015 (they are all Christmas specials, just 20 minutes or so).

  3. WEENY WITCH ALL TIME EVERY DAY WEENY WITCH. Weeny Witch is a totally great picture book by Ida DeLage, and I don’t know why I haven’t been reading it every day. There’s a little witch and she is nice, and the other witches are wicked and evil, and Weeny Witch makes friends with the fairies that come down from the moon or something, and it’s great.

    • I had to google it, and it surprised me to see that Amazon had it as a classic collectible! I’m not sure I’ll get my hands on it anytime soon but I’ll keep the title in mind.

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