Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Widow's Broom” as Want to Read:
Blank-133x176
The Widow's Broom
 
by
Chris Van Allsburg
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Widow's Broom

4.25 of 5 stars 4.25  ·  rating details  ·  2,552 ratings  ·  229 reviews
"Witches' brooms don't last forever. They grow old, and even the best of them, one day, lose the power of flight.... On very rare occasions, however, a broom can lose its power without warning, and fall, with its passenger, to the earth below ... which is just what happened one cold autumn night many years ago." So begins The Widow's Broom, the gentle, strangely captivatin ...more
Published (first published 1992)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Widow's Broom, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Widow's Broom

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
deirdre
This has been a favorite in our home for more than a decade. Having fun listening to my new reader enjoy this. Great story. Great ending. Gorgeous illustrations!
David
"Witches' brooms don't last forever. They grow old, & even the best of them, one day, lose the power of flight.... On very rare occasions, however, a broom can lose its power without warning, & fall, with its passenger, to the earth below ... which is just what happened one cold autumn night many years ago." So begins The Widow's Broom, the gentle, captivating book by Chris Van Allsburg. One morning the lonely widow Minna Shaw finds a wounded, sky-fallen witch in her vegetable garden. Th ...more
Ronyell
“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 detail
...more
Joseph Lapierre
The Widow's Broom is about a witch who is one day flying over a woman's house named Minna, who happens to be a widow. The witches broom loses power during mid-flight and she comes crashing down into Minna's garden. The next day during the morning hours Minna finds the fallen witch in her garden and helps her inside so she can heal. The next day comes and the witch is healed and takes off while Minna is still sleeping but leaves her broom behind as she thinks it has no more power. Minna decides t ...more
Kathryn
This is an outstanding picture book, both in story and illustrations. Part of the fun for me was knowing virtually nothing about it (other than seeing the high ratings from other GoodReads members and friends) so I will not include a synopsis in my review (there are many other fine ones to be found, anyway). Instead, I will say that I was utterly captivated and constantly surprised by the twists and turns in this tale. It is a story of kindness, gratitude, fear and prejudice, acceptance and frie ...more
Shazzer
After a witch falls out of the sky one day into Widow Shaw's garden, she leaves behind her old broom. The widow discovers the broom is still full of magic, and capable of great things, but her neighbors think the broom is an evil and should be destroyed.

What is it about Van Allsburg? Where does he get these wild ideas that turn into such beautifully strange books? The illustrations are sumptuous and wonderful as always, and the story is as I said, beautifully strange, with a wonderful smile of a
...more
Rachel Tackett
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kyla Frey
This book is about a witch who falls out of the sky along with her broom and comes tumbling to the ground. A widow finds her in the garden and she lets her come inside to get some rest. At midnight the witch takes off although she leaves her broom behind. The broom turns out to be a magic broom, and it learns to do some simple tasks to help out the widow. A lot of her neighbors thought that the broom was evil, so they set out to get rid of it. What they thought was enough wasn't and the broom st ...more
Maddie Sharp
This story is about how a witch’s broom lost its power. A widow found the broom and its owner in her farm so she took them in and cared for them. One night the witch disappeared, but left her broom at the widow’s house. The widow began to use it, but saw no difference between it and a regular broom. One day she heard a noise from the kitchen when she went to check what it was she saw something that was very shocking, the broom was doing her chores on its own. Soon the community heard about this ...more
Leah
The Widow’s Broom is a book about a magical broom and the widow who uses it. In the beginning of the book, a witch crashes in the town of Minna Shaw, a widow. After the witch leaves, her broom remains behind, and begins to help the widow with daily chores. However, Minna Shaw’s neighbors do not approve of her companion. After a bit later, the town burns the broom much to the widow’s demise. What will the widow do without her helper?
The book had a very interesting format. It was vertical rectangl
...more
Lani
Nov 09, 2007 Lani rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: teachers and parents
Shelves: kids, education
I tend to love Chris Van Allsburg's less famous books like this one.

A quirky twist on a Halloween story, my fifth graders LOVED THIS BOOK. I dressed up as a witch and read it to them, and they had so much fun with the idea of a run-away witches' broom.

I also like the different perspective on witches... they're not all bad after all.

Of course the highlight is really Van Allsburg's illustration, but the story stands up on its own.
Mitzy Rodriguez
A story about how a witch’s broom lost its power, so when a widow found the broom and its owner in her farm she took them in and cared for them. One night the witch disappeared, but left her broom at the widow’s house. The widow began to use it, but saw no difference between it and a regular broom. One day she heard a noise from the kitchen when she went to check what it was she saw something that was very shocking, the broom was doing her chores on its own. Soon the community heard about this e ...more
Kelly Fulcher
This was a fun story, very playful. It was a very cute story, something that kids can relate to. Kids often find things that they think are great, things that get better and better, but some people think they are bad for them, and try to take them away, just like the widow and her broom. Kids can relate to the story line, and Van Allsburg's child-friendly story is great!
Jennifer Varela
This story is about how a witch’s broom lost its power. A widow found the broom and its owner in her farm so she took them in and cared for them. One night the witch disappeared, but left her broom at the widow’s house. The widow began to use it, but saw no difference between it and a regular broom. One day she heard a noise from the kitchen when she went to check what it was she saw something that was very shocking, the broom was doing her chores on its own. Soon the community heard about this ...more
Amber
I liked the choice of picture color, which was almost like the Sepia filter. I also enjoyed the non-focused pictures, they didn’t necessary always have the faces of the characters all the time either which I found to be very unique. I also liked that the story was about a witch but in a tasteful non-Halloween like way. I feel like most of the stories I’ve read with witches all sound the same but this story had its own twist and quirks to it. Most books portray witches to be evil but this book re ...more
Cindy Sa
This book is full of black and white, and these pictures are painted by the pencils. Thus, these pictures are very movements and reality. Although I do not why there are so many picture books are painted in black and white, I also can enjoy these black and white papers. There are some white borders in this book. There are still some pumpkins to be used for the borders in this book. They are very beautiful and these pumpkins have lots of relationships between the witch and the broom.
This book is
...more
Stefani Sloma
Witch’s brooms don’t last forever. They get old and eventually can lose their ability to fly. This happens one day and a broom is left at widow Minna Shaw’s home. Minna uses it around her house, and then one day she finds it sweeping by itself. She eventually trains it to do many other tasks, but her neighbors are very superstitious and they are afraid of the broom. They want her to burn it.

I loved this story. It was beautiful with wonderful illustrations. The shadowing in the illustrations alon
...more
Madison Godfrey
A story about how a witch’s broom lost its power, so when a widow found the broom and its owner in her farm she took them in and cared for them. One night the witch disappeared, but left her broom at the widow’s house. The widow began to use it, but saw no difference between it and a regular broom. One day she heard a noise from the kitchen when she went to check what it was she saw something that was very shocking, the broom was doing her chores on its own! Soon the community heard about this e ...more
Tanya W
Loved this "horror story" for kids. He is so creative and we really like all his books with the cool Twilight Zone twists at the end. Dodoo dodoo dodoo dodoo.... Ahhhhh!
Selene Vasquez
This story is about a witch who is flying over" Minna's" house (minna is the name of the character) the witch then crashes into her backyard and Minna takes care of her. The next morning the witch leaves leaving her broom behind (thinking it no longer works) Minna decided to keep the broom to do house chores but then quickly realizes the broom is not a normal broom. She gets over her fear and trains the broom to do other task and quickly her neighbors aren't to excited about it. (cont..)

The book
...more
Arlene Allen
I love, love, love how Van Allsburg refrains from making the witch old and ugly. The broom - steals my heart.
Josiah
The writing and artistry of Chris Van Allsburg are the perfect vehicle by which to tell this story. The dark, strong illustrations are so convincing and their scope so big that I would liken the experience of reading this book to that of watching a wholly enveloping movie, and I can't think of much higher praise for a picture book than that.

Magic meets with the people of our world in so many different ways, one of which is exactly how the widow Minna Shaw finds herself the new owner of a bewit
...more
Maureen
Some brooms lose power after a while. That's what Minna Shaw learned when a witch suddenly crashes into her garden.
The next morning the witch was mysteriously gone, but the witch's broom remained, and revealed its magic powers to Minna Shaw by helping the old woman around the house with her chores. When the neighbors found out about the broom, they were terrified that because it was different and unfamiliar, it must be wicked, and therefore destroyed. But Minna Shaw's ingenuity proved too cleve
...more
Linden
Oct 22, 2008 Linden rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Second Grade and up
Recommended to Linden by: The rest of Van Allsburg's work
This is the ultimate October book for second grade students. Since they have already heard Jumanji and The Garden of Abdul Gasazi in first grade, they greet his work with excitement. Since they already have a sophisticated perspective on Van Allsburg's work, they begin looking for all the visual quotes from his other books. But then that attention falls away and they are, pardon me, swept up in the story.

Van Allsburg introduces the tale by pointing out that witches' brooms eventually wear out. W
...more
Nicole
great witch/halloween/trickster story - don't know how i missed it before!

witches' brooms don't last forever and while one in particular can no longer fly, it happily helps an old widow with chores around her farm and even learns simple tunes on the piano. the brooms existence vexes widow shaw's neighbors, mr. spiveys, who calls the enchanted object evil and dangerous. two of spivey's boys prove him right when they provoke the broom to violence against them and their dog. spivey reveals himself
...more
Barbara
This is one of my favorite Chris Van Allsburg books. As he often does in his picture books, the author/illustrator plays with reality and fantasy, adding a twist at the end. When a witch falls from the sky, she leaves behind her broom as thanks to Minna Shaw for helping her recover. Minna doesn't expect much from the broom, but it has magical powers and sweeps her floors and chops her wood. After her neighbor Mr. Spivey considers it the devil's handiwork and his two sons accost the broom, severa ...more
Karen
I purchased this book after seeing one of the eerie and mysterious illustrations on a Pinterest board. The drawings have an unusual texture that was created by using litho pencil, which is very dark pencil, on coquille board. These drawing are nothing short of fabulous!
The supernatural is introduced into mundane life with the author's typical knack for pushing against the boundaries of reality. While this book provides marvelous Halloween reading, it has a much deeper lesson that is relevant yea
...more
Holly Hardwick
I found The Widow's Broom by Chris Van Allsburg really delightful. It tells the story of an old witch's broom that finds a new home with the widow Minna Shaw. The broom becomes a companion to her and stays with the widow Shaw despite neighbors angry that it is there. I thought that the story was clever and ended in a surprise that was very entertaining. I loved reading about all the household tasks the broom could do, especially how it could play the piano "one note at a time."
I would use this s
...more
Brigette
La Escoba de la Viuda, a trickster story, is a humorous story of a woman who acquires a witch's broom and puts it to good use on her farm. The color pallet is earthy and dreary, which adds to the spooky-factor. The story begins, as many fantasy stories do, with a very large capital letter that takes about three lines. This is a clear way to tell readers that this story is a fantasy. The text is all enclosed in white text boxes that cover a background of pumpkins, which helps to establish the set ...more
Erica Johnson
The Widow's Broom starts with Minna Shaw finding a witch in her garden all bruised up and blood from her fall off her broom. At the beginning of the book we are given an introduction about witches, their brooms, and their ability to loose power with or without notice. The witch in this story fell from her broom with out notice and ended up in Shaw's garden. Shaw welcomes the witch into her home where she falls fast asleep. The witch wakes up in the middle of the night and leaves the house and st ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Mini Mia and Her Darling Uncle
  • The Princess and the Pig
  • Fred Stays With Me!
  • Here Comes the Garbage Barge!
  • Old Bear
  • The Bicycle Man
  • Big Red Lollipop
  • The Sandwich Swap
  • Heckedy Peg
  • Ruby's Wish
  • Blackout
  • The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
  • Ruby Bridges Goes To School: My True Story (Scholastic Reader Level 2)
  • Nurse, Soldier, Spy: The Story of Sarah Edmonds, a Civil War Hero
  • Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf
  • Sector 7
  • Into the Unknown: How Great Explorers Found Their Way by Land, Sea, and Air
  • Piggie Pie!
9685
Chris was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan on June 18, 1949, the second child of Doris Christiansen Van Allsburg and Richard Van Allsburg. His sister Karen was born in 1947.

Chris’s paternal grandfather, Peter, owned and operated a creamery, a place where milk was turned into butter, cream, cottage cheese, and ice cream. It was named East End Creamery and after they bottled the milk (and made the ot
...more
More about Chris Van Allsburg...
The Polar Express Jumanji The Chronicles of Harris Burdick: 14 Amazing Authors Tell the Tales The Mysteries of Harris Burdick The Garden of Abdul Gasazi

Share This Book