Tag: witches

  • Meg and Mog by Helen Nicoll and Jan Pienkowski Analysis

    Meg and Mog by Helen Nicoll and Jan Pienkowski Analysis

    Meg and Mog is a super long-running series of picture books written by Helen Nicoll and Jan Pienkowski. As is often the case with popular picture book series, there is also a TV series. There’s a massive gap between the first book and the first TV show, which was broadcast in 2003, when the original readers had young children of…

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  • When The Sky Is Like Lace by Horwitz and Cooney Analysis

    When The Sky Is Like Lace by Horwitz and Cooney Analysis

    When The Sky Is Like Lace (1975) is a picture book written by Elinor Lander Horwitz and illustrated by Barbara Cooney (1917-2000). If you read Wind in the Willows and wanted more otters, this one’s for you. (I’m not familiar with otters but I think these may be river otters rather than sea otters?)

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  • Women and Cats in Art

    Women and Cats in Art

    There is a strong link between women, girls and cats. In fiction, for instance, women are frequently described as cats (and also as birds).

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  • The Widow’s Broom by Chris Van Allsburg Picturebook Analysis

    The Widow’s Broom by Chris Van Allsburg Picturebook Analysis

    “The Widow’s Broom” is a 1992 picture book by American author illustrator Chris Van Allsburg. Like many of Van Allsburg’s books, this one remains popular with teachers, partly because this is a storyteller who requires the reader to do a little work. Students can practise their inference skills in class. Like all good stories which rely on reader imagination, this…

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  • Fear of Engulfment in Storytelling

    Fear of Engulfment in Storytelling

    There’s a very good reason why girls should be told the truth about baby-making as soon as they ask: If she’s old enough to be asking, she’s old enough to be worrying.

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  • Dead Calm Film Study

    Dead Calm Film Study

    Sometimes horror movies are even more terrifying when read metaphorically. In Dead Calm, the story of a husband and wife at sea with a murderous intruder is bad enough, but what if the murderer doesn’t exist? Dead Calm is a well-executed but outdated psychological horror, adapted in 1989 for film from a 1963 novel by the same name by America…

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  • The Symbolism of Broomsticks

    The Symbolism of Broomsticks

    Broomsticks are useful storytelling symbols that serve double duty — they are a symbol of female oppression (tied to the house and the drudgery of housework) but also, by leap of imagination, turn into a vehicle by which to escape. Broomsticks may keep a woman housebound, but also afford the imaginative freedom to fly. Which is the correct way to…

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  • The Gingerbread House In Hansel And Gretel

    The Gingerbread House In Hansel And Gretel

    When artists choose to illustrate a single narrative moment, they make a choice of lasting importance, because their illustration creates a memorable impression for an entire story, one that visually anchors an impression of that story in its reader’s memory. Illustration history is full of such memorable moments. In the illustration history of Grimm’s Tales, one image predominates, that of “Hansel and Gretel” beginning to eat the witch’s house.

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  • A Glossary of Witch Words

    A Glossary of Witch Words

    The definition of witch changes over time. The word witch dates from around 800 AD. It originally referred to men who practise witchcraft but 200 years later referred to female magicians and sorceresses. Later it meant women who were meant to cooperate with the devil or other evil spirits.

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  • Burlesque Witches In Storytelling

    Witches have a long history in storytelling, but they aren’t always scary. They aren’t always Baba Yaga types, sometimes murderous, sometimes helpful. There’s another variety of crone who is a ribald storyteller. She’s related to the classic witch, but her function in stories is quite different. She is known as the burlesque witch. For a definition of burlesque, see here.…

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  • The Ritual (2017) Film Study

    The Ritual (2017) Film Study

    “The Ritual” is a horror film directed by David Bruckner, adapted by Joe Barton from Adam Nevill’s novel. Although this film is pretty standard in its tropes and structure, the CGI monster makes the viewing experience truly scary. This article says more about the monster and its basis in Swedish folklore.

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  • Bedrock by Annie Proulx Short Story Analysis

    Bedrock by Annie Proulx Short Story Analysis

    “Bedrock” is a short story from Annie Proulx’s collection Heart Songs, published 1999. This is a subversive feminist tale, which challenges the readers assumptions about ‘gold-digger’ women and especially those we dismiss as ‘rednecks’. “Bedrock” makes a good mentor text if you: Are writing a story in which the reader is asked to switch sympathies, or to question their sympathies…

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  • Baba Yaga: Witch or old woman?

    Baba Yaga: Witch or old woman?

    Baba Yaga is a legendary Slavic witch, or a hag, who lives in a hut that stands on chicken legs and who flies through the air in a mortar.

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  • What is a fractured fairytale?

    What is a fractured fairytale?

    A fractured fairy tale is a story which makes use of a traditional fairy tale but restructures and reimagines.

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  • Why Are Witches Green?

    Why Are Witches Green?

    We all know witches ride brooms and keep black cats for sidekick pets, but why the green witch? That tradition started quite recently, but we can also find links that stretch back to antiquity. The history of witches is terrifying and sad and is basically the story of marginalised people. Worse, people around the contemporary world are still abused because…

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