The Ride-by-Nights illustrated by Carolina Rabei

Up on their brooms the Witches stream,
Crooked and black in the crescent’s gleam;
One foot high, and one foot low,
Bearded, cloaked, and cowled they go.
’Neath Charlie’s Wain they twitter and tweet,
And away they swarm ’neath the Dragon’s feet,
With a whoop and a flutter they swing and sway,
And surge pell-mell down the Milky Way.
Between the legs of the glittering Chair
They hover and squeak in the empty air.
Then round they swoop past the glimmering Lion
To where Sirius barks behind huge Orion;
Up, then, and over to wheel amain,
Under the silver, and home again.

Love this poem by Walter de la Mare (1873-1956) who wrote the Peacock Pie: A Book of Rhymes (Faber Children’s Classics), a wonderful collection of poems for children.


Reading the book  The Ride-by-Nights about the twittering witches is the perfect way to spend an chilly autumn evening with a big pot of tea. Thrilling magical poem that has been beautifully illustrated to capture the excitement of a coven of witches flying though the starry skies as a family below prepares to go trick or treating. In the book the two groups mirror each other and they create a wholeness that you perhaps would not have anticipated if you only have read the poem aloud.

Love the colours of the night skies filled with wonderful blues and purples and there is a magnificent treat at the end of the book – a special chart of the night sky.

This is the second book that the illustrator Carolina Rabei as made from a poem by Walter (the first one was Snow). Both books beautifully capture the spirit of his poems.

Sparking Thinkibility Book Tips

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