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Sunday, January 29, 2017

The Widow's Broom by Chris Van Allsburg


AR Level: 4.7
AR Points: 0.5
AR Quiz Number: 6348
Page Count: 28

I recently added The Widow's Broom by Chris Van Allsburg to my growing collection of his books. This book contains everything that I love about Van Allsburg.... mystery, a little bit of creepiness, and amazing illustrations. He is one of my all time favorite author/illustrators, and The Widow's Broom is one of my favorite titles by him.

This story follows the mysterious arrival of a witches broom to an old widow's home. After treating the witch with kindness, the witch then leaves the worn out broom behind for the widow to deal with. Like a loyal dog, the broom then goes to work for the widow, much to her neighbor's dismay.

In the image below you can see a sample spread, with a dramatic black and white illustration and text opposing it. It is actually quite a bit of text for a picture book, but that is Chris Van Allsburg's norm. This book was written in 1992, and his classic Jumanji came out a decade prior. These days picture books lean away from large blocks of text like Van Allsburg writes, but his book remain big sellers because not only are the illustrations fantastic, but the story telling is as well. I've read his books to a couple of bouncy classes of Kindergarteners, and the story locks them in and holds their attention.... that is all a part of his magic, I suppose.

Do you have a favorite author/ illustrator combo? Let me know at www.facebook.com/mssmithreads/