That was what my almost five-year-old daughter told me as I was getting her ready for bed tonight.
“What?” I said. “Wait, what was this? When was this?”
It had been raining today, so her kindergarten class had stayed inside for recess and watched a movie.
“And it was about this old lady… and there was this scary part with hands at the beginning… it was so freaky… and the old lady, she was a witch… she would take children’s bones and boil them, and, if you want to get someone’s bones, you have to kill them. So this lady KILLED children, Dad. She killed like a hundred children. She had a fence of bones… no, I’m serious, Dad. She killed children. So many children. And ripped out their bones.”
“This was at school today?”
That went on for a while.
It turns out – after some quick Google searches – that the video was an animated version of a book called Teeny-Tiny and the Witch-Woman (1975) by Barbara K. Walker, illustrated by Michael Foreman, which seems to be out of print. The cartoon adaptation was done by Weston Woods, a fantastic production company, owned by Scholastic, that specializes in animated versions of classic children’s books. (My daughter knows their Mo Willems and William Steig videos, which are great.)
I found Teeny-Tiny and the Witch-Woman on YouTube and… yeah, my daughter was right. That is freaky. Really freaky, right? (The hands are WAY scary.)
So, OK, Teeny-Tiny and the Witch-Woman – you’re on the radar of the Library now.
I’m going to try to track down a copy to see if the actual book is any less “freaky.” Oh, and I’m also going to enjoy about a month of questions from my kid about murdered children and the best way to collect the bones of young ones, so, thanks a lot, Teeny-Tiny.