A Very Brave Witch...and More Great Halloween Stories for Kids (Scholastic Storybook Treasures)
|Artists: Elle Fanning, Sherry Stringfield|
Label: New Video Group
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Sales Rank: 50,337
Format: Multiple Formats, Animated, Color, NTSC
Languages: English (Unknown), English (Original Language)
Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Number Of Discs: 1
Running Time: 62 Minutes
Shipping Weight (lbs): 0.2
Dimensions (in): 7.1 x 5.4 x 0.6
Release Date: September 29, 2009
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One Halloween, a little witch decides to see what humans are really like. Plus seven more slightly scary stories: By the Light of the Halloween Moon; A Dark, Dark tale; Georgie; The Witch in the Cherry Tree; The Three-legged Cat; The Three Robbers, and Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain.
A VERY BRAVE WITCH (Written by Alison McGhee, illustrated by Harry Bliss, narrated by Elle Fanning) One Halloween, a little witch decides to see what humans are really like.
BY THE LIGHT OF THE HALLOWEEN MOON (Written by Caroline Stutson, illustrated by Kevin Hawkes, narrated by Sherry Stringfield) A brave girl would rather play a trick than be gobbled up as a treat.
A DARK, DARK TALE (Written and illustrated by Ruth Brown) Take a spooky journey up dark stairs and through hidden passages. Being scared has never been so much fun!
GEORGIE (Written and illustrated by Robert Bright, narrated by David DeVries) A friendly ghost looks for a new house to haunt when he feels unwanted by the Whittaker family.
4 BONUS STORIES!
THE WITCH IN THE CHERRY TREE (Written by Margaret Mahy, illustrated by Jenny Williams) David and his mother must find a way to protect their freshly baked cakes from the tricky witch in the cherry tree.
THE THREE-LEGGED CAT (Written by Margaret Mahy, illustrated by Jonathan Allen) Tom, the pegged-legged cat is mistaken for a hat in this hilarious tale of mistaken identity.
THE THREE ROBBERS (Written and illustrated by Tomi Ungerer) A little orphan girl sets three robbers straight, turning their gold to good.
LITTLE TIM AND THE BRAVE SEA CAPTAIN (Written and illustrated by Edward Ardizzone) Little Tim finally has the chance to become a sailor and experience life on the high seas.
Halloween can be a dark and spooky time of year, but nowhere is it written that witches and ghosts have to be scary. "A Very Brave Witch" twists the common perception of witches to reveal that most witches are actually afraid of people, thanks to humans' lack of green coloring, fear of flying, failure to cackle, and other perceived oddities. The brave little witch in this story is fascinated with humans and, after doing some research, decides to get a close-up look at some human children on Halloween night. What she discovers is a young human who's just as brave as she is. "A Dark, Dark Tale" follows a black cat through a dark moor and a spooky old house to find a surprise lurking in a dark corner, and "By the Light of the Halloween Moon" is a cumulative-structure poem, reminiscent of the song "There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly," in which a tapping toe sets off a chain reaction that involves a witch, a bat, a ghoul, and several others. "Georgie" is the story of a cute little ghost who feels unappreciated by his human family and runs away only to realize that he and the family really need one another. "The Witch in the Cherry Tree" depicts an intelligent young boy who uses his wits to outsmart a witch and protect his freshly baked cakes, and "The Three Legged Cat" is a humorous tale about a peg-legged cat whose yearning for travel and adventure gets satisfied as a result of a case of mistaken identity. In "The Three Robbers," a young orphan girl turns a band of robbers' misdeeds into something good, and in "Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain," a young boy stows away on a steamer and journeys out to sea. These eight captivating stories feature original illustrations that are either animated or filmed with simple camera pans, skillful narration, optional onscreen read-along words, and fun music. What a perfect way to celebrate the witching season without fears or tears. (Ages 3 to 7) --Tami Horiuchi
Q&A with Alison McGhee, Author of A Very Brave Witch
Who are you inspired by in the world of children's literature?
This is a tough question, because I'm inspired by so many authors both past and present. Someof my favorites include Ezra Jack Keats, Maurice Sendak, the Hobans, Laura Ingalls Wilder, M.T. Anderson and Kevin Henkes.
What were some of your favorite children's books growing up?
I lived and breathed the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, and I loved "My Side of the Mountain," by Jean Craighead George and Swiss Family Robinson, by Johann Wyss. (I wanted to be a pioneer girl, and barring that, I wanted to live in a treehouse or in a hollow tree.) I also loved Mickey in the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak and all of Robert McCloskey's picture books.
How did you get inspired to write A Very Brave Witch?
My friend Harry Bliss's favorite holiday is Halloween. He wanted to write a Halloween book but preferred to have me do the words. Since I like to write and he likes to draw, we were a good pair. I liked the idea of writing from a witch's point of view, and the story grew from there.
While the story is fanciful, there are some real-life lessons here about friendship, cultural diversity, and curiosity. How have kids responded to this story??
Kids seem to love the book for the illustrations and the humor and the little witch's bravery, including her personal interpretation of the meaning of "Trick or Treat." Adults tend to be the ones who appreciate the cultural diversity aspect of the book.
What do you think of Harry Bliss' illustrations?
They're great. The colors he chose, the dark Halloween sky, and that long vertical double-page spread are all wonderful. And Harry's always funny--he makes kids and grownups laugh.
Were you involved in the development of the animated version of your story? How did this production (animation, narration, music) affect the story, in your opinion?
I was not involved in the development of the animated version, but I've certainly enjoyed watching it. A writer tends to be nervous about the translation of her words to the screen, but the movie version stays completely true to the story, so it was purely pleasurable.
Did you ever dress up as a witch for Halloween when you were a kid? What's your favorite Halloween experience?
I did dress up every year for Halloween, because I loved getting a big bag of candy. But I was a lazy child when it came to costumes, so I usually just stuffed a pillow under one of my dad's oversize t-shirts, attached a stuffed bandana to a stick, and trick or treated as a hobo. Lame, I know. But I still got the candy.
What's your favorite Halloween candy?
What are you working on now? Are there any more Alison McGhee stories that will be adapted for the small screen?
I'm working on several picture books right now, including So Many Days and Snowman, both of which come out next year. And I'm writing another children's novel in my Julia Gillian series. And I'm looking ahead to next year, when I want to get busy writing a historical novel for adults.
• Try our A Very Brave Witch coloring sheet
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