The Witch Family by Eleanor Estes

The Witch Family

Old Witch, Little Witch Girl, Weeny Witch, and two real girls in a fantasy that blends the worlds of reality and imagination. A Halloween classic about the power of make-believe.

Details The Witch Family

TitleThe Witch Family
Release DateSep 1st, 2000
PublisherHMH Books for Young Readers
GenreFantasy, Childrens, Fiction, Holiday, Halloween

Reviews The Witch Family

  • snowplum
    This book is sheer perfection. It has many of the same qualities as Winnie the Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner -- young children who live out tremendous adventures in their imagination with characters who are typically treated by the author as though they are also real, though every once in a while perspective shifts and you see the drawings of Old Witch, Little Witch Girl, Lurie (the little mermaid), Weeny Witchy, Malechai (The Spelling Bee --...
  • Sayeeda
    nothing made sense till the very end i did not like it
  • Cheryl
    Bewitching. Two little girls, almost seven, make up Old Witch and carry her through a year of adventures, of trying to be good. Estes knows children. I think Malachi is my favorite character, though I would have loved to get to know Father, who gave the spelling bee that name.
  • NebraskaIcebergs
    What a delightful find! Although I grew up reading several books by Eleanor Estes, until recently I hadn’t the pleasure of discovering The Witch Family. This book is a fun blend of imagination and fantasy.One day, Amy and her friend Clarissa banish Old Witch to the top of an “awful, high, lonely, bare, bleak, and barren glass hill.” At first, I wasn’t sure if Old Witch was real or just a character in wild stories that Amy’ mom would tel...
  • Lisa
    I have remembered this book for years in bits and pieces and have never been able to remember what it was called. Finally, through goodreads, I was able to find out the title and I ordered the book from Amazon!I loved loved loved this book as a child, and skimming through it again, I think it would have been a great one for my daughter when she was younger. I wish I had found it sooner, but I highly recommend it as a read aloud, or read alone for...
  • The Library Lady
    Amy and Clarissa love to tell and draw stories about "Old Witch". But after they "banquish" her (Amy makes up the word) to the Glass Hill, they realize she is lonely. So they send her Little Witch Girl. And when Little Witch Girl decides to fly down to see her human friends on Halloween, Amy and Clarissa suddenly find themselves in BIG trouble!This is a wonderful book that encourages kids to use their imaginations, has just enough spooky scarines...
  • Nadia
    I just wish there was more of the old Witches shenanigans on Halloween cause I felt the story was building up to that day she can be bad. So I was hoping maybe she was gonna spark a little trouble with the girls on that day. But overall, leading up to that point I loved how descriptive this book was and the writer was definitely spot on with what a 7 year old would be like when they're lost in their imagination. Great build up just wish the endin...
  • Francie
    A sweet children's story with charming illustrations. Although I am sure that I would have liked it as a child, it did not really catch me as an adult without the benefit of any nostalgia.
  • Amy Jensen
    A sweet children's story with charming illustrations. Although I am sure that I would have liked it as a child, it did not really catch me as an adult without the benefit of any nostalgia.
  • Unacra
    This book vastly affected my life as a child and gave me a better understanding of who my mother really was.
  • Tracey
    The Witch Family was one of my best-loved books from the elementary school library; I checked it out at least 2-3 times a year, I think. I picked up my own copy a few years ago, just to see if it was as good as I remembered.Amy and Clarissa, two seven year old girls with lively imaginations, banquish (their combo of "banish" & "vanquish") the Old Witch to a glass mountain, forbidding her to come down or perform any bad magic. If she behaves, she ...
  • D.M. Dutcher
    Excellent book. Amy and Clarissa are two ordinary little girls who daydream about an old witch. Amy banished her to a glass mountain so she wouldn't be wicked, only to come out on Halloween when she is good. But being there is lonely, and the two soon populate the glass hill with others to keep her company: a little witch, a baby witch, a spelling bee, and a mermaid. Reality and daydream blur though, as both the two girls visit the glass hill, an...
  • Dolly
    This is a very entertaining tale that really captures the essence of a young girl's imagination. The inventiveness of the story evolves as the little girl's whimsy changes, even if it makes little sense. The witches are not very scary, although there's room for the spooky and creepy aspects of Halloween, spiders, hobgoblins, and bad storms. The story is a fairly quick read and would be appropriate for parents reading with children or older childr...
  • Vincent Desjardins
    This charming book is a wonderful ode to childhood imagination. Amy and Clarissa, two seven-year-old best friends, enjoy hearing tales about Old Witch and her wicked antics. They also enjoy sitting down and drawing pictures of the Old Witch's naughty hijinks. To them, the tales they hear about the Witch from Amy's mother, are as real as any events in a history book. The power of their imaginations, along with the magic of their drawings, brings t...
  • Jan
    This book kept cropping up on my Audiobooks page and I had never read it so I thought I'd give it a try. I think I would have enjoyed it as a youngster, especially if read aloud. The book was so repetative and I nearly gave up on it, yet this is exactly the type of book a child would delight in. I didn't care for the narrator/reader who took the old witch's voice to new levels of irritation. The bumblebee's monotonous spelling of everything he sa...
  • Jeanette
    This was an abandoned read-a-loud. We started reading in the early part of October and it took us 2 months to slog through half of it before finally abandoning it. My son says he would like to finish reading it on his own someday but it just was not working as a read-a-loud. Very long and repetitive explanations, not much character and not much plot. Every time I picked it up to read I would hope that something, anything, would happen but it rare...
  • CLM
    "Go, live on the glass hill forever, and never come back!"Thus did Amy and Clarissa, who loved to draw pictures of witches, banish the wicked Old Witch. Before long there was Little Witch Girl and then Weeny Witch, the baby, on the glass hill as well. Perhaps Old Witch did try to be good, but she never succeeded. And in no time at all, Amy and Clarissa were involved - sometimes dangerously - in her schemes and "hurly-burlies."From the back cover
  • Judy
    Rating: 3.5 starsThis is the only story I've read that is based on a child's imaginative play. Not only does one very inventive child (6-year-old Amy) create the members of the witch family, she also imagines their home life, and their behaviors. As the story unfolds, the tale moves smoothly from Amy's world, to the witch world, and sometimes the two worlds overlap.While I think the story is ingenious, I couldn't stay with it very long. It defini...
  • Pauline
    This is probably my favourite book from childhood. I've reread it many times over the years.
  • Elise
    Cute premise, with the real girls and the imaginary witch family they created; I like that. It's a pretty easy read, but after a while I wasn't very engaged.
  • QNPoohBear
    Amy and Clarissa are almost-7-year-old best friends living in Washington, DC. They love to draw and listen to stories about a horrid old witch. Amy decides the witch has been bad enough and needs to be "banquished" to a glass hill where nothing grows. If the witch is good, she can come down for Halloween - one night only. Old witch is kept in line by Malachai, the spelling bee and letters from Amy. Then Amy feels old witch might be lonely and sen...
  • Becca
    So imagine you put Harold and the purple crayon, and The Girl who drank the Moon, and Junie B Jones into a blender. Like that, but cuter. This book manages to sound like a child's inner storytelling monologue--the way they get when they're playing with their animals and dolls and sitting on the floor, and the characters are talking to each other, and AMAZING magical things happen, and some scary things happen, and the parents stay out of sight to...
  • Edith
    This was one of my favorite books when I was a child. It's a delightful story about Little Witch and her family living on the Glass Mountain.
  • Jayne
    A favorite from childhood
  • Madeleine
    This book was very strange. I did not enjoy it.
  • Nancy
    Odd and charming
  • Danielle
    The Witch Family by Eleanor Estes, is a cute little children’s story about two little girls, Amy and Clarissa who draw pictures of a mean, old, and lonely witch who has a house on top of a house who is indeed actually real. Then, one day something extraordinary happens, Amy and Clarissa send a new member of the witch family to Old Witch who brings her great joy and company. You should read this book especially around Halloween because it brings...
  • Shawn Thrasher
    I admired this book much more than I liked it. An ad hoc squint is going to reveal a sort of treacly, episodic book that quite frankly lacks the narrative strength and subtle wit of a book like Pinky Pye. But on deeper reflection, I think Eleanor Estes is experimenting with plot here; there is a story within a story, one of the thumbprints of postmodern writing; I'm not sure that was happening in very many children's novels in 1960. She's playing...