Room on the Broom

Detail from an illustration by Axel Scheiffer for Room on the Broom.

Room on the Broom (ISBN 9780333903384) is a children's fantasy picture book of twenty-four pages. It was written by the British author Julia Donaldson and illustrated by the German-born artist Axel Scheiffer. It was first published in 2001.

The story, written in verse, describes how a witch and her cat are joined on their flying broom by a dog, a bird and a frog. Unfortunately, the combined weight of the witch and the four animals is too much for the broomstick and it breaks in two. The four animals fall into some mud and the witch narrowly escapes being eaten by a dragon.

Room on the Broom has been translated into twenty-two languages, including Scots and British Sign Language. It has received the Scottish, Sheffield, Stockport and Norfolk children's book awards and has also received prizes from the BBC children's TV program Blue Peter and the website Mumsnet.

The book has been adapted for stage and television.


A witch and her cat are flying on their broom on a stormy day. The wind blows the witch's hat off. A dog fetches it. As a reward, the witch allows the dog to join her and the cat on the broom. The witch loses the ribbon from her hair. A bird brings it back to her. The witch allows the bird to join her and the other animals on the broom. The witch drops her wand. A frog finds it. The witch agrees to let the frog join her, the cat, the dog and the bird on the broom. The broom is not strong enough to take the weight of the witch and the four animals. It breaks in half. The cat, the dog, the bird and the frog fall to the ground and land in a bog. The witch continues flying on her broken broomstick and goes into a cloud.

The cloud is made of smoke which is coming from the nostrils of an enormous winged dragon. The dragon declares that it wants to eat the witch. It follows her as she flies higher up into the sky and when she flies down to the ground. Just as the dragon is about to eat the witch, a sticky monster emerges from the bog. It has four heads, wings, fur and feathers. The monster says that it is going to eat the witch. The frightened dragon apologizes to the monster, drops the witch and flies away.

The monster is revealed to be the cat, the dog, the bird and the frog The frog and the bird stood on the cat's shoulders, the cat stood on the dog's shoulders and they were all covered in mud. To reward the four animals for saving her life, the witch asks them to help her brew a magic potion. After the potion has been brewed and the witch has said some magic words, a new broomstick appears. The new flying broom has seats for the witch, the cat and the dog, a nest for the bird and a shower for the frog. The witch and her animal friends fly off together.


Room on the Broom has been adapted for television as a 25-minute animated film. The film, a British-German co-production, features a combination of stop motion animation and computer generated imagery. The voice cast includes Simon Pegg as the narrator, Gillian Anderson as the witch and Timothy Spall as the dragon. It was first shown in the United Kingdom on BBC One on December 25, 2012. It first aired in the United States on PBS Kids Sprout on October 30, 2013. The film had a theatrical release in November 2013. It won the Crystal award for Best TV production at the Annecy Animation Festival in France in 2013. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Short Animated Film in 2014.

A stage adaptation of Room on the Broom by the Tall Stories theater company has been performed at venues across the United Kingdom.

See also

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.