ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Dorrie And The Blue Witch - A Halloween Magical Memory

Updated on July 23, 2014

Once upon a childhood, you will sometimes find a book that sparks the imagination. Growing up pre-Harry Potter, mine was Dorrie And The Blue Witch by Patricia Coombs.

My mom found the Dorrie book at a library used book sale and brought it home to give to us kids, thinking that it would be a fun Halloween read. It was...and more. I would sneak it into bed every night to read and pour over the wonderful illustrations. I can still picture Dorrie's elegant black cat Gink and the staircase winding ... winding ... winding to the top of the witch's house.

But what delighted me most was that Dorrie was smart. Witchy smart. She knew what to do when the mean Blue Witch kidnapped Dorrie and turned Cook into a cup of sugar. Dorrie was a witch's child and knew something about magic. Dorrie kept her cool and sprinkled shrinking powder on the bad witch. I used to giggle, thinking about how mad the Blue Witch would be while increasingly getting smaller and unable to work her magic. And I loved the conclusion when Dorrie won the golden cauldron for being the cleverest witch-catching witch. What an exciting story for a little girl with an active imagination.

Did I tell you that I LOVED the book? I think I subconsciously was encouraged to find my black cat, Molly, because of the hours of looking at Dorrie's elegant Gink.

We owned only the one Dorrie book and I didn't realize that there were more Dorrie books until I was an adult. Awwww. I felt that I had been cheated out of something special--like finishing only the first part of a triple-decker ice cream cone. I looked online to see if I could purchase them from Amazon. Hurray, I could!

The paperbacks were a reasonable price, while the hardcover books are almost what I would call a collectors' edition, with used books priced at $54.94. Oh, wait, the Dorrie book in pristine condition is a collectible, selling at $268.

Being a collectable does not necessarily equal having great worth, but in this case it does; each book teaches a lesson and plants seeds of creativity. The sweet magic that I felt coming from that used library book those many years ago was real and is valued for the ability to encourage little girls to be smart in difficult situations. Witchy smart.

NOTE: This review's author is Kristen Lawrence, a classically trained organist who loves Halloween and writes Halloween music which she calls her Halloween Carols. Her music is available from Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. She has a little black kitty that she named Molly Macabre the Halloween Cat -- who is an elegant constant companion, just like Gink.

Patricia Coombs (born in Los Angeles, California, July 23, 1926) is the author and illustrator of many children's picture books, including the popular Dorrie the Little Witch series.

The first children's story, "Dorrie's Magic" was published in 1962. It was inspired by and written for her two daughters, as were the following twenty-eight books. They were published in Great Britain, Germany and Japan. The final book in the series, "Dorrie and the Haunted Schoolhouse," was published in 1992.

Besides the three Dorrie book titles I have listed below that can be purchased at Amazon, click to see some illustrations and a list of other books in the Dorrie series by Patricia Coombs.

Dorrie's Magic
Dorrie's Magic

Every child wishes they could wave a magic wand and clean up their room. But what if you were a witch child and COULD do magic. Read how Dorrie learns a lesson about responsibility and using magic. ... "Abracadabra, skittery doo!" she said, pouring some blue stuff into a bowl. Dorrie had started the magic working and although everything was going wrong, she couldn't make it stop. Maybe if she poured a little more of everything into the magic brew...

 
Dorrie and the Witch Doctor
Dorrie and the Witch Doctor

Learn how negative comments can influence others with this delightful story. One day the Little Witch, Dorrie, who had a bad habit of meddling with her mother's magic, decided she would be good all day. But, as luck would have it, that was the very day Aunt Agra chose to come to visit. And though Dorrie tried and tried, she just couldn't please Aunt Agra with anything. "Look at her!" Aunt Agra said. "She hasn't touched her sandwich. She hasn't drunk her milk. And look at her face! She's been into your magic again. She's turning green!" But this time Dorrie hadn't meddled with the Big Witch's magic at all. This time Dorrie really felt sick. It was odd, though -- for the minute the genial old Witch Doctor arrived, she began to feel better. And after taking only two of the chocolate peppermints which he prescribed, Dorrie was almost entirely over her bad case of Auntitis. But most astonishing of all was the way the Witch Doctor cured Aunt Agra!

 
Dorrie and the Halloween Plot
Dorrie and the Halloween Plot

Witches have brooms. And brooms are meant to fly, right? ... It was Halloween, and Dorrie was ready for her first flying lesson, but her mother said, "You're too young to fly. Maybe next year." The Big Witch was busy fixing a princess costume for Dorrie to wear to the Halloween Pageant for the Great Sorceress. But flying had more appeal for Dorrie than being a princess and learning to curtsy. If no one else would teach her, she just might have to teach herself. Her awkward attempt to fly put her right at the center of a plot by some Halloween demons. From her first encounter with the demons to the moment when the Big Witch blew out the candle in Dorrie's bedside pumpkin, the little witch had one of the most exciting Halloweens ever.

 
Dorrie and the Witch Doctor
Dorrie and the Witch Doctor

Have you read any of the Dorrie books?

See results

Photo Gallery

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Kristen Lawrence is a classically trained organist who writes Halloween music.  Her little black kitty Molly often joins her for practice time.Molly is a featured vocalist in Kristen's song, "Cats In The Catacombs."  Her hisses and growls show she did not like to be held up to the mikes.Molly hunts for kitty treats, sometimes walking on the keyboard while I am practicing.  She thinks she owns the organ.
Kristen Lawrence is a classically trained organist who writes Halloween music.  Her little black kitty Molly often joins her for practice time.
Kristen Lawrence is a classically trained organist who writes Halloween music. Her little black kitty Molly often joins her for practice time.
Molly is a featured vocalist in Kristen's song, "Cats In The Catacombs."  Her hisses and growls show she did not like to be held up to the mikes.
Molly is a featured vocalist in Kristen's song, "Cats In The Catacombs." Her hisses and growls show she did not like to be held up to the mikes.
Molly hunts for kitty treats, sometimes walking on the keyboard while I am practicing.  She thinks she owns the organ.
Molly hunts for kitty treats, sometimes walking on the keyboard while I am practicing. She thinks she owns the organ.

Guestbook

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 4 years ago

      Congrats on LOTD. Nice work

    • HalloweenCarols profile image
      Author

      Kristen Lawrence 4 years ago from Orange County, California, USA

      @GeorgeneMBramlage: Thank you for your kind words. And today is Halloween. A perfect day to bask in magic.

    • GeorgeneMBramlage profile image

      Georgene Moizuk Bramlage 4 years ago from southwestern Virginia

      Thanks for highlighting a delightful book for young girls, and for sharing a magical memory with your readers!

    • HalloweenCarols profile image
      Author

      Kristen Lawrence 4 years ago from Orange County, California, USA

      @anonymous: I want to read all of the books in the series!

    • HalloweenCarols profile image
      Author

      Kristen Lawrence 4 years ago from Orange County, California, USA

      @anonymous: Thank you. I was so surprised!

    • HalloweenCarols profile image
      Author

      Kristen Lawrence 4 years ago from Orange County, California, USA

      @christmasbaby: Thank you. It is a charming book.

    • christmasbaby profile image

      christmasbaby 4 years ago

      Congratulations on LoTD. Dorrie sounds like a wonderful book for kids ... and adults too.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Very nice lens. Congratulations on getting LotD!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I have heard of the story but not read it yet. Really like that kind of theme too.

    • HalloweenCarols profile image
      Author

      Kristen Lawrence 4 years ago from Orange County, California, USA

      @RinchenChodron: Thank you. Halloween is for all to enjoy! ~ Kristen

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 4 years ago

      We are from a different generation, but I have heard of Dorrie and can tell that you did enjoy her writing.

    • HalloweenCarols profile image
      Author

      Kristen Lawrence 4 years ago from Orange County, California, USA

      @bobnolley lm: So many books to discover and re-discover. Thanks. ~ Kristen

    • HalloweenCarols profile image
      Author

      Kristen Lawrence 4 years ago from Orange County, California, USA

      @KathyZ1: Thanks for the kind words. ~ Kristen

    • HalloweenCarols profile image
      Author

      Kristen Lawrence 4 years ago from Orange County, California, USA

      @anonymous: Thank you. I was so surprised! ~ Kristen

    • HalloweenCarols profile image
      Author

      Kristen Lawrence 4 years ago from Orange County, California, USA

      @Seasons Greetings: The illustrations are charming and lend to a child's imagination to filling them out. ~ Kristen

    • HalloweenCarols profile image
      Author

      Kristen Lawrence 4 years ago from Orange County, California, USA

      @rebeccay104: Kids need sweet magic! I like how Dorrie figures out how to solve problems. ~ Kristen

    • HalloweenCarols profile image
      Author

      Kristen Lawrence 4 years ago from Orange County, California, USA

      @philipcaddick: Thanks for the response. I hope you get to read them. ~ Kristen

    • HalloweenCarols profile image
      Author

      Kristen Lawrence 4 years ago from Orange County, California, USA

      @PlumberJorge: They would love to read and cherish the books. What a nice uncle you are! ~ Kristen

    • HalloweenCarols profile image
      Author

      Kristen Lawrence 4 years ago from Orange County, California, USA

      @aesta1: I hope you enjoy them. ~ Kristen

    • HalloweenCarols profile image
      Author

      Kristen Lawrence 4 years ago from Orange County, California, USA

      @DLeighAlexander: Memories are fun, especially around Halloween time. ~ Kristen

    • HalloweenCarols profile image
      Author

      Kristen Lawrence 4 years ago from Orange County, California, USA

      @Nightcat: Thanks! ~ Kristen

    • HalloweenCarols profile image
      Author

      Kristen Lawrence 4 years ago from Orange County, California, USA

      @Chocolatealchemy: Witchy stories are magical for little (and big) girls with imaginations. ~ Kristen

    • HalloweenCarols profile image
      Author

      Kristen Lawrence 4 years ago from Orange County, California, USA

      @paulskjordal: Thank you for the kind words. ~ Kristen

    • HalloweenCarols profile image
      Author

      Kristen Lawrence 4 years ago from Orange County, California, USA

      @BunnyFabulous: My Molly is an elegant cat who reminds me of Gink. ~ Kristen

    • HalloweenCarols profile image
      Author

      Kristen Lawrence 4 years ago from Orange County, California, USA

      @BSEMom: I will have to check out the "Little Leftover Witch". Thanks. ~ Kristen

    • HalloweenCarols profile image
      Author

      Kristen Lawrence 4 years ago from Orange County, California, USA

      @throughthenexus: Thank you. It is a cute book. ~ Kristen

    • bobnolley lm profile image

      bobnolley lm 4 years ago

      I totally missed this book as a kid...nonethe ess, congrats on the LOTD

    • KathyZ1 profile image

      KathyZ1 4 years ago

      Congs on your LOTD. Nice lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Congratulations on your Lens of the Day!

    • Seasons Greetings profile image

      Laura Brown 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I like the illustrations. I have never seen the books before.

    • rebeccay104 profile image

      rebeccay104 4 years ago

      I love these books so much! I've bought three for my own kids and they agree- Dorrie is magical

    • profile image

      philipcaddick 4 years ago

      Very interesting, I have never heard of them before.

    • PlumberJorge profile image

      PlumberJorge 4 years ago

      This is absolutely lovely. This is a nice read. I'd be sure to consider this as a gift to my nephews and nieces.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Am now eager to read these books after reading your review.

    • DLeighAlexander profile image

      DLeighAlexander 4 years ago

      Sounds like a great read for a child's imagination. I remember reading "The Wednesday Witch" which was about a witch who flew around on a vacuum cleaner instead of the traditional broom! Ah, memories :) Thanks for sharing your memories.

    • Nightcat profile image

      Nightcat 4 years ago

      Lovely, congrats on LoTD! :)

    • Chocolatealchemy profile image

      Chocolatealchemy 4 years ago from London, United Kingdom

      Congrats on LOTD - well deserved your Lens is beautifully written. I love witchy stories and never mind the kids, I want to read these!

    • paulskjordal profile image

      paulskjordal 4 years ago

      Congrats on 'Lens of the day'! I enjoyed your review also, very nice.

    • BunnyFabulous profile image

      BunnyFabulous 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Wonderful review of this imaginative book. My sister and I grew up with Dorrie's adventures and loved Gink too. Thanks for the great memories!

    • profile image

      BSEMom 4 years ago

      I LOVED LOVED LOVED the Dorrie books - they were my favorites!!!! I must have read each one a dozen times at least!! What awesome memories. And to BelvaBoggs - Amazon has reprints of "The Little Leftover Witch" for $5+!!! :)

    • profile image

      throughthenexus 4 years ago

      Wonderful@ love it, looks adorable.

    • HalloweenCarols profile image
      Author

      Kristen Lawrence 4 years ago from Orange County, California, USA

      @Diaper Bag Blog: Thanks. All of my siblings loved them, too.

      ~ Kristen

    • HalloweenCarols profile image
      Author

      Kristen Lawrence 4 years ago from Orange County, California, USA

      @LindsDeVoll: Thank you for the kind review. If you really believe it, it comes across. ~ Kristen

    • HalloweenCarols profile image
      Author

      Kristen Lawrence 4 years ago from Orange County, California, USA

      @Iberville: The whole series is wonderful and creative.

      ~ Kristen

    • HalloweenCarols profile image
      Author

      Kristen Lawrence 4 years ago from Orange County, California, USA

      @PriyabrataSingh: Memories need to be jolted once in a while. Glad you have read them, too. I think my Halloween music comes from good memories of my childhood.

      ~ Kristen

    • HalloweenCarols profile image
      Author

      Kristen Lawrence 4 years ago from Orange County, California, USA

      @Missmerfaery444: They will love the stories and the pictures. Thanks for commenting!

      ~ Kristen

    • HalloweenCarols profile image
      Author

      Kristen Lawrence 4 years ago from Orange County, California, USA

      @Dressage Husband: Molly is a special cat. I chose her from the animal shelter because she was sitting by herself. She had been abused and needed tender care. - Kristen

    • HalloweenCarols profile image
      Author

      Kristen Lawrence 4 years ago from Orange County, California, USA

      @katiecolette: Molly is my little friend who helps me write and practice my organ music. Thanks!

      - Kristen

    • HalloweenCarols profile image
      Author

      Kristen Lawrence 4 years ago from Orange County, California, USA

      @Diana Wenzel: Thank you!!! I actually have thought about writing stories and including Molly in them. She is 19 years old now, and her back jumpers don't work quite as well. I need to preserve her memory for all time through a book. Right now I am write music. - Kristen

    • HalloweenCarols profile image
      Author

      Kristen Lawrence 4 years ago from Orange County, California, USA

      @RoadMonkey: Yes, I love the book. I want to find all of the others to read.

    • HalloweenCarols profile image
      Author

      Kristen Lawrence 4 years ago from Orange County, California, USA

      @freeenergypower4u: Halloween is special because of the imagination. Have you checked out my own Halloween music? I wrote one song called "A Broom With A View" that tells about a witch gliding over the countryside on her broom. - Kristen

    • HalloweenCarols profile image
      Author

      Kristen Lawrence 4 years ago from Orange County, California, USA

      @Merrci: It is a classic. I want to find and read ALL of the other Dorrie books.

    • HalloweenCarols profile image
      Author

      Kristen Lawrence 4 years ago from Orange County, California, USA

      @anonymous: Thanks! I STILL love the book!

    • HalloweenCarols profile image
      Author

      Kristen Lawrence 4 years ago from Orange County, California, USA

      @Belva Boggs: I will have to look up "The Little Leftover Witch." Haven't heard of that. Maybe it will show up in a yard sale. Every little kid dreams of flying!

    • Belva Boggs profile image

      Belva Boggs 4 years ago

      These sound so adorable! When I was a child, my favorite book was called "The Little Leftover Witch". The only problem is that it isn't printed anymore and it cost hundreds of dollars to buy now. Thanks for letting me know about these, my kids will love them!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Great review and congrats on LOTD! :)

    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 4 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      Sweet and classic! Great review.

    • freeenergypower4u profile image

      freeenergypower4u 4 years ago

      Great lens. I love Halloween

    • RoadMonkey profile image

      RoadMonkey 4 years ago

      We have Dorrie and the Big Witch (her mother), where a mean wizard turns the Big Witch into a tea cup and Dorrie has to find a way to get her mother back. My daughter used to LOVE that story. We still have the book and now my eldest granddaughter likes it and the others will get it read to them when they are a bit bigger too. We borrowed other stories from the library and they were all great.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 4 years ago from Colorado

      Well, I missed out on the whole triple decker cone. Somehow my childhood was Dorrieless. Sounds like an interesting series. And, yes, I'm pretty sure Molly does own that organ. Could be the inspiration for a whole new series of children's books. Enjoyed your pics with her. Congrats on LOTD!

    • katiecolette profile image

      katiecolette 4 years ago

      Excellent book review, well done! And your kitty is very cute :)

    • Dressage Husband profile image

      Stephen J Parkin 4 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

      I had never seen these books, but you made them sound fascinating! Love the cat!

    • Missmerfaery444 profile image

      Missmerfaery444 4 years ago

      I hadn't come across Dorrie before but will definitely look her up now! I loved witchy books as a child too (and still do) and will be sharing these with my children :)

    • profile image

      PriyabrataSingh 4 years ago

      I have read Dorrie books. The stories are very interesting. Thanks for the lens and making my memories alive with the Dorrie books.

    • profile image

      Iberville 4 years ago

      Thanks for the review! Reading is my hobby. I think I should also read this book.

    • profile image

      LindsDeVoll 4 years ago

      This review made me want to purchase every one of Dorrie's books for my son. Not in the slightest way did I feel that I was being oversold to. This is the first lens that I've read, and my first post on a lens since I joined Squidoo earlier tonight. This was a nice example, to me, of how anything can effectively, and tastefully, become profitable to members of this site. Just be genuine! I'm passionate about writing and creating in this for myself. I found this to be inspiring! Thank you for this review!

    • Diaper Bag Blog profile image

      Stanley Green 4 years ago from Czech Republic

      Hi, interesting review... I haven't read any of those books, but they seems to be great for kids

    • HalloweenCarols profile image
      Author

      Kristen Lawrence 4 years ago from Orange County, California, USA

      @delia-delia: Thanks. When you really like something, it makes it easier to review it. The Dorrie series are great books and the illustrations are charming.

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 4 years ago

      Interesting, I never heard of Dorrie and these books...great review!