Title: The Widow's Broom
Author: Chris Van Allsburg
Genre: Horror / Witches / Halloween
Year Published: 1992
Year Read: 2010
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company
Content Rating: Ages 5+ (Intense Themes of Witchcraft)
“The Widow’s Broom” is a haunting story from the great mind of Chris Van Allsburg and it is about how a lonely widow named Minna Shaw finds a friend in a witch’s broom, but is threatened by the villagers to get rid of the broom because the know that it is witch crafted. “The Widow’s Broom” may have some controversial material about witchcraft, but it is a brilliant read for children who love haunting stories.
Chris Van Allsburg makes this story haunting yet memorable at the same time as it details the story of friendship between a widow and her broom and the bond that Minna Shaw and the broom share together will definitely show children about the importance of friendship even in the worse of times such as when the broom was being harassed by the villagers because it was witch crafted. Chris Van Allsburg’s illustrations are highly beautiful and haunting at the same time as the images are mainly in black and white giving the story a haunting and old fashioned feel since this story probably took place during the 1700s and the image that stood out the most was the image of the broom itself as its handle actually curves when it is doing the work for Minna and because the broom looks so innocent and friendly, many children would actually like the broom instead of fear it.
Parents should know that the theme of witchcraft in this book might be too sensitive to readers who do not approve of witchcraft, even though personally, this subject does not bother me so much since I am a huge fan of Harry Potter, but the broom in this book was friendly and he only threw up the Spivey boys and the dog because they were harassing the broom. Depending on your views on the subject on witchcraft, parents should talk about this book with their children and see how they handle the witchcraft theme.
“The Widow’s Broom” is a brilliant book about the importance of true friendship and will be an instant treat for children who love reading haunting books. I would recommend this book to children ages five and up due to the witchcraft theme might be scary for smaller children.
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