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If ever a picturebook was worth celebrating it is Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s marvellous story of the scatty witch and her animal friends, and this special edition, marking the book’s 15th anniversary, deserves a place on every child’s bookshelf. Extras include an author’s note from Julia Donaldson, revealing that she based the witch on herself – apparently she’s always dropping and losing things! There are early sketches from Axel Scheffler’s sketchbook too which are equally fascinating and provide a glimpse into his approach to the illustrations. And the story itself 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
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Fifteen years after it was first published, the kindly witch and her helpful animal friends continue to delight children and adults the world over. Iggety, ziggety, zaggety, ZOOM.....it's Happy Birthday to a truly magnificent broom! A new, limited edition of the modern classic Room on the Broom.
The Room on the Broom was created by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, the most successful picture book partnership ever. Join the witch and her cat, a dog, a bird and a frog as they thwart the greedy dragon in this special anniversary edition.
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|Publication date:||31st December 2015|
|Publisher:||Macmillan Children's Books an imprint of Pan Macmillan|
|Suitable for:||Baby and Toddler, 3+ readers|
Julia Donaldson is the outrageously talented prize-winning author of some of the world's best-loved children's books, including modern classics The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo's Child, which together have sold over 17 million copies worldwide, and the hugely successful What the Ladybird Heard adventures. Julia also writes fiction, including the Princess Mirror-Belle books illustrated by Lydia Monks, as well as poems, plays and songs – and her brilliant live shows are always in demand. She was Children’s Laureate 2011-13 and has been honoured with an MBE for Services to Literature. Julia and her husband Malcolm divide their time between West ...More About Julia Donaldson