Some of Minna Shaw’s neighbors don’t trust her clever broom. “It’s dangerous,” they say. But Minna appreciates the broom’s help. She enjoys its quiet company. But one day two children get taught a well-deserved lesson by the broom. For her neighbors, this is proof of the broom’s evil spirit. Minna is obligated to give up her dear companion. Chris Van Allsburg, master of the mysterious, brings this tale to life with moody and memorable pictures that will haunt readers long after the book’s covers are closed—now in a new edition to celebrate this beloved book’s twenty-fifth anniversary.
This is a beautiful book for older readers and even adults. While not strictly a Halloween story, because it features a witch, it fits well with other seasonal stories but could be read throughout the year. Chris Van Allsburgh’s exquisite illustrations are a perfect pairing for the text which is haunting and enchanting by turns. It raises the question of how we approach something we don’t understand; do we respond with fear or with trust? How quick are we to pass judgment on something new and different?
Chris Van Allsburg is the winner of two Caldecott Medals, for Jumanji and The Polar Express, as well as the recipient of a Caldecott Honor Book for The Garden of Abdul Gasazi. The author and illustrator of numerous picture books for children, he has also been awarded the Regina Medal for lifetime achievement in children’s literature. In 1982, Jumanji was nominated for a National Book Award and in 1996, it was made into a popular feature film. Chris Van Allsburg is a former instructor at the Rhode Island School of Design. Visit him at chrisvanallsburg.com.