Posted by: Lizzie Ross | July 17, 2010

Chris Van Allsburg

The Widow’s Broom (1992), Houghton Mifflin, 28 pp.

You know Van Allsburg as the author of The Polar Express, but I have to say that I like this book so much better. Just look at his drawing of that witch! I can’t help wondering if it inspired Maguire’s Elphaba in Wicked (1995).

Plot: A witch’s failing broom crashes her into Minna Shaw’s cornfield, and Minna helps the witch recover. The witch leaves the old broom behind when she departs the next day, and this broom is a bit too helpful for the comfort of Minna’s neighbors.

At the author’s interactive website, you can get wallpaper for your computer screen, play games, send a Van Allsburg postcard to someone, even submit a story as part of his Harris Burdick series (if you’re the proper age)–a great site for teachers and kids, as well as for Van Allsburg fans.

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