'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Wednesday 26 May 2010

Review: Room on the Broom

During the witching hour in my house, this book is a favourite in our noisy household, from toddler to seven-year-old alike. This book is magical journey with a delightful witch who loses lots of her accessories as she flies.

With the help of various animals who help her retrieve them, she generously offers some room to every animal she encounters on her journey. Until of course, the broom snaps in two, unable to bear the weight of all its passengers.

Following an encounter with a dastardly red dragon, the witch faces dreadful danger and needs her friends to help. But will they step up?

Written in rhyme and accompanied by a large font, this book is great for young readers and would-be readers. The repetition ensures it is accessible for small children and Donaldson’s judicious use of words and phrases help to broaden little vocabularies. There are some clever play on words as well, such as the dragon saying: “I’m planning to have WITCH AND CHIPS for my tea!”

The use of repetition ensures that it is easily picked up by children and allows for the use of shared reading with children.

The delightful illustrations created by Scheffler depict the animals with vivid facial expressions sure to elicit giggles from even the smallest child. And the scatty but sweet witch fulfills historical stereotypes of being rather unattractive, but she is still appealing nonetheless.

The message of friendship and sticking together amidst adversity are subtly depicted throughout the text and teach us that friendships can spring from the most unlikely of places.

A lovely book that encourages participative reading, this book is a must read for beginning readers.

Title: Room on the Broom
Author: Julia Donaldson
Illustrator: Axel Scheffler
Publisher: Pan Macmillan, $14.95 RRP
Format: Softcover
ISBN: 9780333903377
For ages: 4-7
Type: Picture Book