Midsummer Madness


Midsummer Bonfire by Nikolai Astrup, 1909

It is the end of June and school is finally out. Kids and parents pack their picnic baskets and head for the nearest meadow or beach, or as the last resort; a gravel football court, where a huge bonfire has been standing tall, composed of old branches and throw-away furniture, since the first day of summer. For some, this is the day they pack their cars or boats, and head for their summer getaways. But the bonfire is certainly not to be missed. Will the witch adorning the top of the driftwood tower fall over before she is licked clean by the building flames this year, or will she collapse at the first touch of smoke like last year?

The witch is the main character of this suspiciously pagan Nordic holiday. She, and her sisters, will be on the prowl on midsummer night, looking for eligible bachelors to kidnap, and god help the girl who tries to stand up for her lover! So the inhabitants of each village try to scare her away by burning replicas of her on a huge bonfire. Since the witches normally fly quite high in the sky, this tend to work fine. At least it has for centuries now, with a few exceptions, so do NOT forget the witch on top of the bonfire tonight!

Since this is a night steeped in magic, more than just witches may be heard from or even seen. The fairies will be out and about too. And it is said that, because of this, if a young girl picks seven different types of flowers from a meadow at midnight and puts them under her pillow when she sleeps, she will dream about the man she is going to marry!

When I was little, midsummers were spent at sea with my family. There would be a huge bonfire on a rock in the sea close to land, and it would burn far into the night. We would grill sausages on a smaller fire and tell each other stories about ghosts and witches. With me always being the main narrator. Sometimes I would scare my two younger siblings half to death!

If you want to learn more about our Nordic Midsummer Madness, you can read the beautiful book which is the inspiration for this post: ” Moominsummer Madness” by the Finnish author Tove Jansson. In this delightful children’s book you will encounter a floating theatre, electric ghosts, private property protests, and wild orphans who dream of seeing a real play.

Midsummer is a time for fairy magic, for fun and for family and friends. It is one of those delicious festivals that dates back to ancient times when it was the turning of the sun that marked the passing of the year, and gave cause for celebration. So no matter where you are, please have a magical Midsummer, and be sure to sprinkle a bit of Midsummer Madness in there.

Happy Midsummer!

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Room on the Broom

Room on the Broom is a picture book written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler. The book’s target group is children from 3-7 years old.

This little enchanted story, told in rhyme, is about a kind witch who goes out on a flight on her broom. Along the way she meets different animals who all wants to tag along. The kind witch grants them their wish, and this turns out to be a very lucky decision, for soon she meets a dragon who wants to eat her!

I absolutely fell in love with this adorable book! It is one of those picture books that will become a magic totem pole for a a child’s entire childhood. You know, one of those treasures that will transport you right back to that wonderful world, when you have long since left it behind.

I can just imagine a little child begging his or her guardian to read this book over and over again, and I think this is one of those books you wouldn’t even mind re-reading a hundred times over. When I first read it I was just dying to make all those adorable voices ( well, I kind of did after some time, I just couldn’t resist….!😳😳) and I laughed out loud at some of the funny parts!😂😂

I absolutely highly recommend this enchanting book! If you are one of those who have little ones in your life (or just someone like me who collects children’s books) , I would say it would make a wonderful addition to your children’s book library!

Of course, five beautiful twinkling stars! 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

The Wacky Book of Witches

Written by Annie Civardi and illustrated by Graham Philpot

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This delightfully wicked picture book about witches is a treasure trove of wacky witchery.
It is written in rhyme and the deliciously detailed and colorful illustrations make the world of witches come alive with full page, and some times double-page, illustrations depicting Claws the cat, Squawk the Raven, Raucus Rat, Crusher Snake, Squeaky Bat, and the two hilarious elves, Hocus and Pocus. There is something to feast the eye on on every page.
My favorite is Old Warty’s big, brown, spooky house, spread out on two whole pages. There are so many little things to look at and admire!

Warty the Witch has a very special party to prepare for and she has bought a special wig and a veil of spider’s lace to cover her warty face with. We get to watch her preparing for her ghoulish night in front of the mirror with the hilarious rhymes and gorgeous cartoon-like pictures. And when the the witching hour finally begins, we get to take part in the feast in a final double-page spread of wacky merriment

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I cannot tell you how much I adore this book!! I can promise you that kids will crave it over and over again at bedtime, and pull it down from the shelf daily to admire the colorful pictures. There are so many tiny details and stories within the story that kids will never tire of this book. The book is perfect for little kids from 4 years and up, but the cartoon feel of the book, reminding me of the ” Finding Waldo” series, is so entertaining that even older kids might steal a peek at it when their baby sister or brother isn’t watching.

I highly recommend this wickedly awesome book!!
Five out of five stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Happy Reading!

The Worst Witch

By Jill Murphy

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Welcome to Miss Cackle’s Academy, a school for young witches in training. Here you will most certainly make friends with our heroine Mildred Hubble. Mildred is a young witch with a heart of gold, but even though she always tries to do things right somehow it always seems to go wrong. She gets her invisibility spell wrong, and her kitten just won’t hang on to her broomstick. But when the school is threatened by a gang of jealous witches who wants to turn them all into frogs, it is Mildred who is the only one who can save the school. But will she get the spell right this time?

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This book is a classic, a tale beloved by many, but for me it was the first time I encountered the wonderful Mildred and her friends. I loved the book! Even though I couldn’t help but compare it to the Harry Potter books, which really isn’t fair since this book is a chapter book written for much younger children. The book is also written many years before the Harry Potter books, so perhaps J.K Rowling was even inspired by it!

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This book is the first in a series of books about Mildred and the other students at Miss Cackle’s Academy, and I am surely tempted to read them all! I just have one complaint, and that is that I wish I had read this book when I was little! It would have inspired so many games and make-believes! I would have lived in Mildred’s world and been her very best friend!

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I highly recommend this book to all young readers and to parents with small kids, it might not be one of those books you will enjoy as much as an adult, but kids will absolutely love it!

Happy Reading!