cover image 10 Busy Brooms

10 Busy Brooms

Carole Gerber, illus. by Michael Fleming. Doubleday, $12.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-553-53341-5

Gerber (Tuck-in Time) offers a jaunty counting story as a witch with “a long, speedy broom” invites nine of her compatriots to join her for a ride. Though the rhymes often suggest the witches are in a degree of peril (“3 little witches zipping through the night/ saw a ghost haunt a witch as she jumped in fright”), Fleming (Ten Eggs in a Nest) opts for cuteness over creepiness—there’s nothing threatening about his smiling ghosts, pie-stealing mummies, and fuzzy werewolves. There’s also a pleasingly inclusive diversity to the witches: one wears a head scarf, and a range of ages and skin colors are represented. Gerber’s three-line stanzas can feel abrupt, as though they’re waiting to be completed by a fourth line that never arrives, but all in all, it’s an enjoyable celebration of witchy sisterhood. Ages 3–7. [em]Author’s agent: Ammi-Joan Paquette, Erin Murphy Literary. (Aug.) [/em]