Bedknob and Broomstick

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A duology of children's fantasy novels by Mary Norton (who also wrote The Borrowers).

The individual novels are The Magic Bed Knob; or, How to Become a Witch in Ten Easy Lessons and Bonfires and Broomsticks. They are commonly republished in a single volume as Bedknob and Broomstick.[1]

The series inspired the Disney film Bedknobs and Broomsticks.

Tropes used in Bedknob and Broomstick include:


  • Apothecary Alligator: Miss Price's workroom includes "a small stuffed alligator, which hung by two wires from the ceiling."

"What are alligators used for, Miss Price?" asked Paul.
Again Miss Price's long training in truthfulness overcame her longing to impress. "Nothing much," she said. "They're out of date now. I like to have it there for the look of it."

  • Blitz Evacuees: Uses the "host family is magic" variant to start the plot. Some kids orphaned in the Blitz are sent to the country, and find out they're living with a witch in training.
  • Time Travel
  • We Have Those, Too: One of the children tries to scare a cannibal native into letting them go by showing him matches. Unfortunately, they've already got those.


  1. The spelling of "Bedknob", "Bed Knob" or "Bed-knob" varies by edition; we're sticking with the non-hyphenated spelling here because that's how TVT decided to go with it.