Druscilla's Halloween

Druscilla’s Halloween

About the Book

Poor Drus­cil­la. Her sore, ancient knees are so creaky and loud that she can’t sneak up on any­one to play witchy tricks on Hal­loween. She and her faith­ful cat, Driz­zle, try to find a way for her to sneak qui­et­ly, in this charm­ing Hal­loween pic­ture book that final­ly solves the mys­tery of why witch­es fly on broomsticks.


In the days before witch­es rode brooms, they snuck up on peo­ple on foot dur­ing Hal­loween to scare them. Drus­cil­la, the old­est of all the witch­es, had knees that cracked and popped so loud­ly that she could­n’t sur­prise any­one. Not one to be left behind, she looked for oth­er means of fright­en­ing peo­ple. First she tried to ride her don­key, but it was too stub­born to fall under her spell. Next she tried the wheel­bar­row, but it was too hard to steer. Then she turned her arms into wings by past­ing feath­ers to them. Fly­ing worked well until it began to rain. Her “ah ha!” moment came as she swept up the feath­ers. The broom would be per­fect: a seat for her, a place to hold her jack‑o’-lantern, plus a perch for her cat. All of the oth­er witch­es agreed, and at the next world­wide witch­es coun­cil, broom­sticks were vot­ed in. The use of var­i­ous fonts and their place­ment among the illus­tra­tions adds empha­sis and visu­al inter­est to Walk­er’s text. The atmos­pher­ic spreads have just the right amount of spook­i­ness and ample touch­es of humor. (School Library Jour­nal)

Set in old­en days, when witch­es went on tip­toe to fright­en chil­dren on Hal­loween night, this pic­ture book tells of Drus­cil­la, an elder­ly witch who wants to do her part, though she is hand­i­capped by knees so creaky-loud that they alert every­one to her approach. Deter­mined to do her job, she looks for alter­na­tive loco­mo­tion, but her don­key proves stub­born­ly dis­obe­di­ent, her wheel­bar­row is too dif­fi­cult to steer or stop, and an exper­i­ment in flight involv­ing “chick­e­ny wings” ends in dis­as­ter. Unde­terred, she per­se­veres and invents a clas­sic: the fly­ing broom­stick. Best known for the Sib­ert Medal-win­ning Secrets of a Civ­il War Sub­ma­rine (2005), Walk­er shows her lighter side in this wit­ty pic­ture book. White’s expres­sive paint­ings, won­der­ful­ly var­ied in size and approach but uni­fied by style, cap­ture both the com­e­dy and the pathos of Druscilla’s predica­ment. With a strong main char­ac­ter, imag­i­na­tive details, and many well-cho­sen words (includ­ing one amus­ing pun), this makes a fine read-aloud choice for Hal­loween. (Book­list)

Druscilla's Halloween

writ­ten by Sal­ly M. Walk­er
illus­trat­ed by Lee White
Car­ol­rho­da Books, Aug 2009
hard­cov­er: 978–0822589419
32 pages, ages 5 and up

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