The Pomegranate Witch



Last updated Monday, September 30, 2019

Author: Denise Doyen
Illustrator: Eliza Wheeler
Date of Publication: 2017
ISBN: 145214589X
Grade Level: 2nd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Oct. 2019

Synopsis: When a scary old tree blooms with the most beautiful pomegranates ever seen, the neighborhood kids' mouths water with anticipation. But the tree isn't theirs—and it has a protector! So begins the Pomegranate War, a fun, rollicking, rhyming tale of a battle between the sly, plucky young rascals and their wry, witchy neighbor who may have more than one trick up her sleeve.

Note to readers:
•  Look up pictures or bring a pomegranate to show as an example.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What do you know about witches? Are they real? Scary? Good?
•  Do you ever imagine hearing or seeing things when you're afraid?
•  Are there fruit trees in your neighborhood? What's your favorite?

Vocabulary

•  foxtail sea - field of thorny weeds
•  gnarled - knobbly, rough, and twisted, especially with age.
•  lore - a body of traditions and knowledge on a subject or held by a particular group, typically passed from person to person by word of mouth.
•  skedaddled - depart quickly or hurriedly; run away.
•  jaunt - a short excursion or journey for pleasure.
•  dregs - the remnants of a liquid left in a container, together with any sediment or grounds.
•  storm - attack
•  caravan - a group of people, especially traders or pilgrims, traveling together across a desert in Asia or North Africa.
•  vanquished - defeat thoroughly.
•  chariots - a two-wheeled horse-drawn vehicle used in ancient warfare and racing.
•  marauders - persons who roam in search of things to steal or people to attack.

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Do you think the witch was real? Did they actually ever see her?
•  What could explain what the kids heard, felt, or imagined?
•  What does a raven/crow say? How does a peacock sound?
•  Look closely at the nice sister at the end. Does she look familiar?

Craft ideas:
•  Make a silhouette or house or witch. Cut out a house with windows and a tree using black paper, then attach to a bright orange or yellow paper to show through cutouts.
•  Use a paper plate to make a witch mask. Add a 3-D nose, straggly paper or yarn for hair.
•  Decorate a bag for trick-or-treating.
•  Check our craft ideas on Pinterest!
https://www.pinterest.com/readingtokids/october-2019/

Special activities:
•  Go back through the book and read the chants (Pomegranate, Pomegranate, Pomegranate Witch!)
•  Make spooky Halloween noises (witch, owl, ghost...)

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!