Bill Brittain’s Coven Tree Series Adaptation Pitch

Screenwriter: Jessica N. Brunelle

Based on the Children’s Novels by: Bill Brittan

This series was written in the early 80’s and is of pure magical genius.


Each book is written surrounding the key aspect, Coven Tree Village in New England. Within the Village of Coven Tree, an old Oak tree is the barrier or opening to the spirit world where the devil and evil spirits can cross into mankind’s realm.

Project Vision: This three book series, would make an amazing animated three film series geared towards children with a Tim Burton style tone or similar to the Netflix TV series as well as the first Lemony Snicket’s film.

Below, I have included the reviews for each book, which I thought would provide more opportunities to envision the imagery that inspired this project proposal.  

These books are designed to be fun but scary children’s books; however, the moral message focuses on the importance for mankind to focus on humanity’s need to always be at the forefront when mankind comes to the crossroad in life when we are faced to decide to listen to the demon or the angel on our shoulders.

The First of Book of the Series is titled: 

The “Devil’s Donkey”

The New York Times’s Review: “This delightfully spooky tale should send shivers up and down the love-to-be-scared circuit. And with good reason. When 14-year-old Dan’l Pitt’s hard-boiled Yankee skepticism runs headlong into some of New England’s eerie, inexplicable superstitions, who could predict he’d be transformed into a donkey by a vengeful witch?”

The Second of the Series is titled: “The Wish Giver”

The Chicago Sunday Sun-Times says, “Who can possibly resist a sign that declares, ‘Thaddeus Blinn, I can give you whatever you ask for only 50 cents’? This tale of magic and suspense reveals how three young people have their wishes granted. The wish giver’s literal interpretation of how they are worded makes a story too good to put down.”

The Third/Final Book is titled: “Dr. Dredd’s Wagon of Wonders”

Illustrations ©️ Andrew Glass

The New Yorker described it as “Once again, the simple folk of Coven Tree must cope with weird and terrible doings. When Dr. Dredd’s caravan pulls into town, the townspeople are delighted by the marvels he has to offer; not until after a bargain is struck do they learn after the awful truth. Brittain is a master of the difficult art of being funny and scary at the same time.”

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