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The Little Leftover Witch

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  307 Ratings  ·  81 Reviews
After her broom breaks on Halloween night, a little witch finds herself stranded at the Doon's home.
Hardcover, 107 pages
Published May 1st 1960 by Macmillian Publishing Co., Inc. (first published 1960)
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Rating details
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Nov 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: families, fantasy
Sweet little old-fashioned chapter book about a family who takes in a little lost witch. Yes, at times it slips toward the saccharine, and the story is definitely dated. But for the most part, this is just a nice story about the power of love.

Some readers seem to take issue with how Felina is changed, seeing this as a kind of brainwashing or repression of her interesting differences. Certainly a more skilled author would have spent time showing how the family changed, too. But this story is not
Nov 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This was a book I remember discovering in one of my 5th grade teachers rooms. I picked it up to read then and loved it immediately. I never owned my own copy but was able to find one recently. Upon reading it again after more than 30 years, it reminded why I loved it so much. It was such a beautiful and touching story about belonging with people who love you.
Rebecca McNutt
I had this book when I was nine years old, I can't believe I'd forgotten about it. I'm not a big fan of books about witches... well, I don't necessarily hate witch stories, but I'm not seeking them out, either. So, this one had slipped my mind. Anyway, it's a really funny little story, surprisingly not dark or creepy at all, and the illustrations are great, too. :)
This is a sweet little book that will be perfect for Halloween read-aloud. It reminded me a little of the Paddington books in pacing and the fact that each chapter is a little story within the story. At only 75 pages, it's also a very quick read!
While it is a bit dated (in attitude more than anything), the story stands up to the test of time. The only thing it would benefit from are some nice witchy illustrations!
Oct 27, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kid-lit, holiday
In fourth grade I had a magical teacher. Her name was Mrs. Darflinger. She had flaming red hair, much like my own, and dressed in colors I had only dreamed of. She ran a tight ship, but if we had reached all of our goals for the day, the final half hour of class was dedicated to listening as she read to us from books that still dance in my memory. October was filled with stories of chilly nights, spooky goblins and eerie adventures as we worked our way to what was hands down, the best class part ...more
Oct 02, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: childrenslit
I checked out this book on the recommendation of a library patron. She described a sweet book that she had enjoyed reading to her children, and I agreed with her through the first half of the book.

The story begins on Halloween night, when a little witch gets stuck in a tree with her broken broom. When the Doon family finds her, she's snarly and rude as she explains that witches can only fly into the human world on Halloween. As midnight strikes without a functional broom (she tries several clean
Dec 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Cheryl by: Michael Fitzgerald
Unfortunately, this new edition does not have the pictures by Sheila Greenwald. Doing a Google image search reveals some, and makes it clear that they would have added a lot to the story.

And I feel fortunate in that I'm old enough to recognize some of the dated cultural references and assumptions. They might jar a modern child. (Otoh, they might intrigue him or her.)

However, it's still a nearly perfect fable about an abandoned, forlorn child who acts out her insecurities but is loved by her new
Felina is a little witch whose broom breaks on Halloween. She lands in the tree outside the Doons' house and they take her in. It will be a year until she can fly again, and the Doons agree to let her live with them until then.

I adored this book when I was a kid, so I bought a copy to read aloud to my kids, even though I had not read it in thirty years. They loved it. They got very tense whenever Felina was worried or misbehaved, and were relieved when things worked out. But I don't think The Li
Nov 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fun little chapter book that took me just over an hour to read in its entirety. This tale, originally published in 1960, is about Felina who is a witch. On Halloween Night, her broom breaks and she is stuck in our world for an entire year until she can go home next Halloween. This story follows her for one year and how she adapts to "normal little girl life" while living with the Doon family. Sweet little after Halloween story and the ending was perfect.
Feb 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This was my very favorite book as a child. I checked it out repeatedly at the library and read and re-read it many times. I am looking to purchase a copy of it so I can revisit the Doon family as an adult and see if the magic is still there!!
Aug 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This was one of my favorite books when I was in elementary school. I'm so glad it's back in print AND available for Kindle! I was surprised by how much I remembered, some of it word for word. It clearly made an impression on me.
Feb 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
It was a favorite when I was a child and I read it with my children every October. It tells the story a little witch whose broom breaks and is left on Halloween night. She spends a year with a family waiting for Halloween so she can get a ride on a witch's broom.
Feb 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: younger, realism
Not very witchy, but nice.
Two BookWorms Blog
Oct 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
On Halloween night, Lucinda Doon has an unexpected visitor. She is woken in the middle of the night by the sound of someone crying and looking out the window she sees a little witch stuck in the mulberry tree...

For the full review:
Katie Fitzgerald
This review also appears on my blog, Read-at-Home Mom.

When Halloween is over, Felina, a young witch girl, finds herself stranded with a broken broom, unable to fly home to her family. She is taken in by the Doons - two parents, their daughter, Lucinda, and their cat, Itchabody - who slowly help her shed her witchy persona and become a sweet and loving human child.

This Halloween-themed story was originally published in 1960, and has just been reissued by Simon & Schuster with new cover art, g
Book Twirps
Aug 18, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lucinda absolutely loves Halloween and all the magic that comes with it. Imagine her surprise when a real live witch falls from the sky and into the tree outside Lucinda’s bedroom. The witch, Felina, had a problem with her broom (it broke mid-flight) and if she can’t make it back to the sky in time, she’ll be stuck in Lucinda’s world until next Halloween.

The girls try the kitchen broom, the dust mop and even the vacuum cleaner, to no avail. It seems Felina will have to stay with Lucinda and her
Carie Juettner
Aug 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
When I ordered this 1960 book from Amazon, I thought I was getting a picture book. What arrived in the mail surprised me by being a chapter book instead, one that touched my heart more than any book I've read lately.

Laughlin's story is about a family who finds a little witch on Halloween night, crying in the tree outside their house. The poor thing has been left behind by the other witches and can't get home again, at least not until next Halloween. The family takes her in, and even though she
Ms. Yingling
Dec 02, 2013 rated it liked it
When Felina, a young witch, crash lands near Lucinda's house on Halloween, Lucinda's family, the Doons, take her in. Since Felina can't get her broom to work, she is grounded for an entire year. The father reports her to the police and manages to obtain a license to keep her, and the family proceeds to accept Felina into their family despite her witchy ways. They convince her to eat things other than black bat soup, and manage to eventually have her give up her witch hat. With the help of a twin ...more
May 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: edelweiss
This was a cleverly detailed and well written story about ‘being different’ and coming to adapt to life with a new family. While the behaviors and actions of Felina are completely appropriate to a child that is desperately in need of a family to love her, the parents in this story do just that.

Teaching proper behavior, manners and even how to think before you act, this story will speak to children in all situations; we all know someone who acts out badly without really knowing why. I think that
Dec 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
It was Halloween time and I saw this book in the children's section of Barnes & Noble. Since I am enamored of witches (especially since our trip to Salem during October festivities a few years ago), I seem drawn to All Things Witchy. Loved this book- get it for your kids, your nieces & nephews, the neighbors' kids. But read it before gifting. Lovely story that also teaches that we don't always have to become what we are "supposed to be" (as in: witches are supposed to be scary), as well ...more
Nov 03, 2016 rated it liked it

All of the Halloween-themed books I read in October were a disappointment. So I was thrilled when I saw I'd written the name of this book on a scrap of paper a few months ago and sure enough, found a copy at the library. I wanted something that didn't suck to read for Halloween.

It's a cute story and I enjoyed the illustrations. However, it's not much of a Halloween story. It is more a story about how unconditional love, support, and patience turn a downright nasty little girl into a sweet, lovin
Oct 16, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, children, magic
Little witch Fiona broke her broom on Halloween, and couldn't get back home to the witches world. She would have to wait until next Halloween to try again. Lucinda Darling and family take in the horrid little witch and work their own brand of magic over the year. I first read this at the age of about 7, about the same age as Fiona nad Lucinda, but it's a favorite I still read as an adult.

After reading some of the other reviews, I have to add that I grew up in a time when all I wanted was to "be
Sep 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
I absolutely adored this book as a child - Halloween, the witch, her slow transformation, and most of all the possibility that one Halloween night I too might find a witch having flown into my bedroom.

(I was no greater than nine years old, so this made sense at the time.)

In retrospect, I find the whole storyline somewhat more problematic now that I am an adult - namely the idea that someone so wonderfully wild and weird is turned 'normal' without her consent, and that the book's narrative moral
Aug 23, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a cute little story this one is! Short and sweet, The Little Leftover Witch is a story that features the struggles many children have when growing up in a little more supernatural manner.

This is a reprint from the original edition that was published in 1971 and I think this one would have done well from a few more things being updated - there were a few references and procedures that were out of date.

Lucinda and Felina are a super fun duo - they get into such mischief and are a darling pa
Kathleen Tia
Oct 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any child of the 50's & 60's who wants a quick, nostalgic read.
Recommended to Kathleen by: Elementary School Library
This was my ABSOLUTE favorite book when I was a child. A couple of years ago, I was a little bit nostalgic, and wanted to re-read it. Needless to say, it was out-of-print, but I managed to get a copy with a little help from some very special people.
In reading this book in a very diffrent time, I was a little taken aback with some of the things that were taken for granted in the time that the book was written. There was a discipline situation that I think would never be in a book written now (and
Jan 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy
This book was written in 1960, which means it left me gaping quite a few times at how often spanking was brought up. For goodness sake, if this is a very loving family, I'm glad I wasn't alive then. Course no one got spanked, but....

Felina is a little witch whose broom breaks on Halloween and now she's stuck here. But Lucinda begs her family to take her in and they do. Little by little Felina becomes adjusted and happy. She has a major setback when the bully taunts her, but Christmas melts her s
Jul 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s
I loved this book as a child. It is very sweet and comforting. I appreciated the fact that the family loved the little witch even if she did bad things she would be forgiven. The parents were so matter of fact about the little witch's sudden appearance. This will be a good book to recommend to some of the homeschooling parents that come into my library. I am grateful to Edelweiss for giving me a review copy of this book. It was really wonderful to relive this story as an adult. It made me curiou ...more
Stacy Buturlia
Dec 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
We read this to our 5-year-old daughter and really enjoyed it. There is a brief mention of "spanking" and a bit of Christian values, but I am excusing that since it was written in 1960. Besides that, it is a really cute story about a little witch whose broom breaks on Halloween Eve and because witches can only fly on Halloween, she has no way to return to her witch family and is reluctantly forced to live with a human family, who welcome her wholeheartedly. She gets into lots of funny and mischi ...more
Andie Z
Apr 27, 2012 added it
Shelves: read-2012, reviewed
I'm not ashamed to admit it, I only read this because rumor is that Chris Colfer has adapted it and sold it as a pilot to Disney Channel, and I will watch/read/listen to ANYTHING that boy does. I mainly just wanted to be familiar with the source material because I'm very curious to see how a children's book becomes a Disney series. Who knows whether or not it will ever actually air, but this book takes like, 30 minutes to read, and it's cute and fun and I probably would have loved it as a kid, s ...more
Dec 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This isn't perfect by any means, but it simply doesn't need to be. This was a very heartwarming story about a little lost witch who, under the circumstances had to move in with a human family and learn their ways.

The supporting characters in the book are a bit bland until we meet the grandfather. That's really the only thing I didn't like. Other than it still seems to paint witches out to be bad.

Overall this was a very adorable children's story. A good one to read for Halloween, Thanksg
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