Bed-Knob and Broomstick, written by Mary Norton, illustrated by Erik Blegvad, Harcourt 1943 and 1957
This Christmas season, as well as watching Mary Poppins, we watched Bedknobs and Broomsticks. I loved that the movie was set during the second world war and I wondered how it was handled in the book, so I bought the book. Turns out it wasn't handled at all. The whole premise for the student witch to learn magic in the movie does not exist in the book. Further, the book was actually two books put together: The Magic Bed-Knob and Bonfires and Broomsticks. The movie is very loosely based on the two books.
Bed-Knob and Broomstick is still a most enjoyable read. If I preferred the Miss Price in the movie to the one in the book, I preferred the Charlie in the book to the one in the movie. If I missed the noble intent in the movie, I liked the time travel in the book.
The black-and-white illustrations have a charmingly vintage feel. I think Erik Blegvad could have inspired Edward Gorey. And that is a very good thing.
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