Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson

Room on the Broom

Written by Julia Donaldson
Illustrated by Axel Scheffler

3+ readers   Baby and Toddler   
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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s marvellous story of the scatty witch and her animal friends deserves a place on every child’s bookshelf. Julia Donaldson based the witch on herself – apparently she’s always dropping and losing things! This story is as much of a joy today as on publication, Donaldson’s jolly rhyming text perfectly paired with Scheffler’s equally lively illustrations. ~ Andrea Reece

A Note from the Author The idea for Room on the Broom came about when I started to think about witches and cats. Witches in storybooks, you see, are almost always accompanied by cats and, of course, the cats often ride with the witches on the backs of their broomsticks. What would happen, I wondered, if a witch didn’t just have a cat but lots of animals? Would they all travel with her? How would they all fit onto a broomstick? And how much weight can one broom carry? And that’s where the basic storyline came from.
There wasn’t a dragon in the original story, but once the broom had broken and everyone had tumbled to the ground I created him to add some more excitement and drama. And as to the trick that the animals play on the dragon to save the witch? Well, I think I must have been inspired by the story of “The Musicians of Bremen”. “The Musicians of Bremen” is a German folktale about four old animals – a donkey, a dog, a cat and a rooster – who come across a band of robbers in a cottage in some woods. They climb on one another’s backs and make a fearful din. The robbers are convinced that there must be a terrible creature outside and run away, leaving the animals to settle in for the evening. It’s a wonderful story and I am indebted to it because, although it was unconscious at the time, I think it must have been an inspiration.
The witch herself though, is definitely based on me! I am quite scatty. When I was a child I was always dropping and losing things, just like the witch in Room on the Broom. In fact, I still do. I can remember seeing the first sketches that Axel drew of the witch and asking my editor if she could be made a bit younger and less tidy, and if her nose might be a bit smaller. She looked older, wartier and much neater than I’d thought of her when I was writing the story. But now, of course, I am extremely fond of the witch and couldn’t imagine her looking any other way. ~ Julia Donaldson


Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson

How the cat purred and how the witch grinned, As they sat on their broomstick and flew through the wind. The witch and her cat fly happily over forests, rivers and mountains on their broomstick until a stormy wind blows away the witch's hat, bow and wand. Luckily, they are retrieved by a dog, a bird and a frog, who are all keen for a ride on the broom. It's a case of the more, the merrier, but the broomstick isn't used to such a heavy load and it's not long before...SNAP! It breaks in two! And with a greedy dragon looking for a snack, the witch's animal pals better think fast.

A very funny story of quick wits and friendship, The Room on the Broom is another smash hit from the unparalleled picture-book partnership of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, creators of The Gruffalo.

This edition features the captivating classic story with a stunning, redesigned cover and beautiful finish, making it a must-have addition to the bookshelves of all Donaldson and Scheffler fans - big and small!

Also available with redesigned covers are The Gruffalo, The Gruffalo's Child, The Snail and the Whale, The Smartest Giant in Town, Monkey Puzzle, Charlie Cook's Favourite Book, and A Squash and a Squeeze.

Click here for an activity sheet related to this book !

About the Author

Julia Donaldson

Julia Donaldson is the prize-winning author of the world’s most-loved picture books including What the Ladybird Heard and The Gruffalo, the latter of which has sold over 14 million copies worldwide, been translated into 50 languages and been adapted into a popular animated film. She was the UK Children’s Laureate from 2011-2013 and was awarded an MBE in 2011 for services to Literature. Julia lives in West Sussex and Edinburgh.

Click here to read a Q & A with Julia.

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Book Info


32 pages
Interest Age: From 3


Julia Donaldson
More books by Julia Donaldson

Author's Website


Macmillan Children's Books an imprint of Pan Macmillan

Publication date

21st April 2016




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