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Bedknob and Broomstick

(Bedknobs and Broomsticks #1-2)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  10,115 ratings  ·  345 reviews
In The Magic Bedknob, Carey, Charles and Paul 6 find prim Miss Price injured by falling off her broomstick. For their silence, she bespells a bedknob to carry them where-ever and when-ever. In Bonfires and Broomsticks two years later, they bring necromancer Emelius Jones to visit. But his neighbors want to burn him at the stake for disappearing in the Great Fire of London.
Paperback, 188 pages
Published 1983 by Puffin (first published 1943)
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Average rating 4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  10,115 ratings  ·  345 reviews

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Tara Lynn
Jul 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Tara by: Brad - (He gave me this copy)
I grew up watching a Beta tape (OMG) version of this movie, starring Angela Lansbury, when I was younger. When I became a little older, and many of the original Disney classics that we ONLY had on beta were lost, I was inconsolable. I didn't get to watch many of those Diney favorites again until I was a teenager; Escape to Witch Mountain, The Parent Trap, Return From Witch Mountain, The Apple Dumpling Gang. I relish these books now, as treasured memories of rainy days, curled up in my ...more
Mar 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: younger, fantasy
I don't remember this book too well, but I know that between this and the picture-book "Bed Book" I really wanted a flying bed as a child. Life is full of disappointments.
Jul 29, 2019 rated it really liked it

Enjoyable, fast, fun read! This book is very different from the movie, but nostalgic and fun in its own way. It is reminiscent of Narnia, filled with magic, whimsy, and other worlds.
Jun 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Once upon a time there were three children, and their names were Carey, Charles, and Paul. Carey was about your age, Charles a little younger, and Paul was only six." Marvelous adventure, still enjoyable decades after publication.

There's a troubling chapter about South Sea cannibals, but the book is clearly fantasy, and so a young reader is not going to imagine that there really are 'natives' as depicted... it's not even as bad as the bit from Babar the Elephant.

The themes are a bit like
Fiona MacDonald
May 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
'Bedknob and Broomstick' is one of those books that differs completely from the film. And I love the film, so it was more of a disappointment to me than anything.
Three evacuees from London (Carey, Charles and Paul) are left with a strange and fusty old woman named Miss Price. Little do they know, she is learning to be an apprentice witch, and is quite nifty with certain spells. In the film she is portrayed as cooky and quirky by Angela Lansbury, but in the book she is almost at creepy level,
May 23, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who either haven't seen or don't like the movie
I can't help comparing this book to the excellent 1971 Disney movie version(one of my favorite movies!), and while it's a pretty good book on its own, it didn't hold up to the expectations I had for it based on the film. A lot of things were changed and added for the movie, which doesn't really bother me since I think these changes gave the movie a stronger direction and more character development than the book had.

The story in general is creative and cute, and the writing style is easily
Kaethe Douglas
Escapism, first and foremost. Deliberately so: using the power for good is quickly dismissed with the image of dragons and entire armies being turned to white mice at once. We are never told why the children were sent out to the country, or their father. Their mother works long hours in an office is all we're ever told. The kids are staying with an aunt in Bedfordshire in a small village, they meet a witch, they have adventures which don't go as expected. Unlike the many works of fantasy fiction ...more
Nov 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is two books combined into one, which became the basis for the movie Bedknobs and Broomsticks. I apparently read the second one, because I have really vivid memories of several things happening, including the children visiting the 1700's and the final scene. It was probably back in the late 1980's, during the height of my Borrowers mania. I had no idea that Mary Norton had written the book that Bedknobs and Broomsticks was based on . . . although it's very loosely based. The children aren't ...more
My edition of Bed-Knob and Broomstick is the 1957 version which combines both of Mary Norton's works (The Magic Bed-Knob or How to Become a Witch in Ten Easy Lessons AND Broomsticks and Bonfires) in a single volume. The first section of the book (equivalent to The Magic Bed-Knob) reveals how Carey, Charles and Paul Wilson came to know Miss Eglantine Price and the adventures they had as a result. The children are sent to the country to stay with their Aunt in Bedfordshire. One morning when they ...more
Loren Johnson
Dec 02, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All ages
It's very difficult for me to rate this because I think that my opinion is a tad biased, given how much I love the movie adaptation of this. I know the film like the back of my hand, and unfortunately I believe that that's what put me off with this book in several ways. There are obviously similarities but the two are practically different stories in most respects. I have a great deal of respect for this work, and the era from which it came, however, and am not saying that it is an unenjoyable ...more
Sierra Cook
Jul 21, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
This book was a very whimsical read, had a few adult issues mentioned, but was all in good fun. Played well on one's imagination, and gave a delight of magic turned into everyday objects. Miss Norton had a wonderful gift for stories, and this was like nothing else I have ever read from her. Could have had a stronger plot, a second book about Miss Price would have been a good accompaniment but it was delightful to re-read. kids would enjoy this book
Victoria Springer
May 21, 2019 rated it it was ok
I was raised on the movie version of this book. Disney significantly improved the narrative and personality of the story, in my opinion. This book is boring, rushed and not at all what I expected after loving the movie for so many years. The characters are flat. The storyline goes nowhere. They don’t even travel on the bed that much - and any time they do, it’s a bad experience. The only reason I am giving the book two stars instead of one is because somehow, this material provided inspiration ...more
The movie is very little like the book. A fun read aloud! I read this with my little Bella (11).

"I distinctly told you to stay by the bed. I've been frightened out of my wits about you. Out of my wits. I came back here, worn-out with witchcraft, longing to put my feet up for five minutes - and what do I find?"

"...don't worry Miss Price--she can't do magic with a sprained ankle."

"There should be moderation in all things--even in magic."
Three children find out that their neighbor is a witch and convince her to make them something that's magic. Using a bedknob one of the children have, Miss Price does her magic and with it, they are able to make the bed fly. The children are happy and can't wait to begin their adventures.

Many times when I was a kid, I watched Bedknobs and Broomsticks, which was a fun and exciting movie that I still love to this day.

I decided to give the book a read - since I love the movie, I figured I'd love
Sep 26, 2015 rated it it was ok
Not a completely unappealing story, but Mary Norton both overly complicates plot points and makes them boring. It's like she can't write a "straight" children's fantasy novel, she has to add all these qualifiers and objections to magic in it. This is one case where the movie is better than the book.
Daisy White
Jul 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book as a kid so was thrilled to spot it in a charity shop for my own children. The story starts off fairly slowly but builds brilliantly. My 7-year-old was reading by torchlight after lights out (his sign of a good book!)The character descriptions are beautifully done and the many strands of the story woven in very neatly, never losing focus or distracting the reader. Still love it!
Apr 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Whilst the 1971 Disney film of the same title remains a perennial favourite, this, the original by Borrowers author Mary Norton is radically different. So much so, that it begs the question that perhaps, out there, someone is thinking of making a film, or TV series of this without trampling on the metaphorical toes of Angela Lansbury, the songs and Disney animation. Gone is the wartime setting and evacuation of the three Cockerney (in true Disney style) children, the invading Nazis and ...more
Jan 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Bedknobs and Broomsticks is one of my favorite Disney movies and I was so very excited to find out there was a book before the movie. Not only a book, but that an author I had read before, Mary Norton who wrote The Borrowers, was the author.

Ms. Norton's book did not disappoint me. While quite different from the movie, we still have Miss Eglantine Price and the kids -- Carrie, Charlie, and Paul. We don't exactly get the same story, but there are enough bits and pieces from the book that you can
Rebecca McNutt
I've only just recently seen the Disney Buena Vista film Bedknobs and Broomsticks, but I'd read the stories once before as a kid in the 2nd grade. Re-reading them now, it's easy to see why they've held up as such a classic. This is definitely a book that can be wildly imaginative and great without taking itself too seriously or not being able to have fun with itself. The quirky cast of characters make it even more fun, and while the setting might be a little out-of-date, generations of readers ...more
Kiwi Carlisle
Mar 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Printed Pages and Coffee
Oh man, I enjoyed this so much, The nostalgia was real! I will say though, despite picking up this book because I adore the move, there was sooooo much in the book that completely surprised me! I shouldn't really BE surprised by that fact, but I was. This was a really enjoyable, really fun read and I thoroughly enjoyed the adventures of Carey, Charles and Paul with Miss Price! Twist ending too, did not see that one coming at all.
Jun 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you can read this book and view it as a totally different piece of work from the 1971 movie with Angela Lansbury, which is a movie I deeply love, there is no reason not to adore it. Whimsical and delightful!
Nathan Sizemore
Feb 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites

I really enjoyed reading these to my kids. There are some delicate, humorous observations throughout that resonated with me over the three weeks or so that I was reading it to the kids at bedtime. Mary Norton tells an enchantingly small story of a witch who feels conflicted about being a witch and the children who end up in a comfortable (for them) conspiracy with her to keep her magic a secret.

This is actually a collection of two different books that can be read as a single story and I
Dec 31, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5. A fun little book to end the year with!
Shajila Aziz
Apr 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
That was lovely! Very different to the movie of course but still cute, simple and magical!
Dec 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good, but not as good as The Borrowers.
Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Both stories are highly entertaining, but book #2 makes the whole thing worth it.
Feb 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
Somehow, I never read this book in my youth -- despite a tremendous fondness for the Disney film based upon it. The book and the film are quite different from one another, which is probably not two surprising.

"Bed-Knob and Broomstick" is actually two separate but related books that have been combined. In the first one, amateur witch Miss Price takes three children (Paul, Carey and Charles) to a tropical island via a magical bed-knob -- which is, unfortunately, inhabited by cannibals. The local
Mindy Conde
Aug 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s, favorites
This was always one of my favorites growing up. Unlike a lot of kids in my generation, since this book was written in the 50's, I actually read the book before the movie came out. Though the movie was good, the book was certainly better. This was one of the first books I read where I distinctly remember being amazed at the things in the book; could these things really happen? How did she think of such amazing things? I realized that books really do have their own special world, separate and ...more
Mar 23, 2015 rated it liked it
I only have very vague recollections of the film, so much so that the book was a completely new adventure for me. I never read it as a child, but really enjoyed reading it now! Not sure what that says about me. I loved the story - an apprentice witch, a magical bedknob, cannibals and a trip to the past - all brilliantly written with some nice characters too. My only niggle was the older children's treatment of Paul - I really didn't get that, but I suppose child readers would probably appreciate ...more
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Mary Norton (née Pearson) was an English children's author. She was the daughter of a physician, and was raised in a Georgian house at the end of the High Street in Leighton Buzzard. The house now consists of part of Leighton Middle School, known within the school as The Old House, and was reportedly the setting of her novel The Borrowers. She married Robert C. Norton in 1927 and had four ...more

Other books in the series

Bedknobs and Broomsticks (2 books)
  • The Magic Bedknob
  • Bonfires and Broomsticks
“Keep your warm hearts, your gentleness, and your courage. These will do just as well as magic.” 8 likes
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