Saturday, April 29, 2017

CCLE - The Borrowers by Mary Norton (1952)

The Borrowers by Mary Norton is my 3rd book for the Classic Children's Literature Event.

This one is actually a re-read; my childhood was peppered with a love of the Borrowers and then another group of tiny people called The Littles. But the Borrowers don't have tails like the Littles, so they are slightly different.

The Borrowers are Pod and Homily Clock and their daughter Arrietty and they happen to live underneath the kitchen floor of a rather old house owned by Aunt Sophy and run by Mrs. Driver the housekeeper and Crampfurl their man-of-all-work. The Clock's story is first told to a little girl named Kate by her aunt who happened to be the sister to a Boy who moved into the house unexpectedly. Naturally, any little boy who happens to move into a house with just adults is liable to be curious, and he stumbles quite by accident across the Clock family. Imagine meeting a family of tiny little people while you happen to be reclining in the garden?

There's a good chance that a lot of modern children wouldn't understand many of the phrases in this book, but at the same time, this is a great chance to develop a child's understanding different eras, and not just lock them in to the modern sensibilities that we see today. I think that's one of the best reasons to encourage children to read historic literature; it deepens them in profound ones, at least, it does when the books have something deeper to share.

This is only the first book in a long series of adventures, and I love it so much that I intend to keep reading the series, something I wish that I'd done as a child. There's just enough imagination to feed my love of nostalgic stories, but just enough reality to keep the reader grounded. It's a brilliant book.

8 comments:

  1. *has a vague memory of this book from childhood*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love the idea of tiny people running around, be they fairies or not, so this book totally appealed to me. It's incredibly how close the movie with Ian Holm kept to the storyline!

      Delete
  2. I've seen the title of this book several times and would have sworn I read it until you mentioned The Littles and their tails--I think I must have read that instead. Regardless, it sounds absolutely charming. I may have to look for it at the library...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a darling story in every way. The Clock family interacts in such a believable way, like all families I know with their ups and downs. Did you ever watch the animated tv series for The Littles? I loved that show as a kid!

      Delete
    2. No, I've never seen it. I'm sure it was fun!

      Delete
  3. I loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooove this book series. Love and love and love some more. I want to be a Borrower. I used to pretend we had them in our house. I named my dollhouse characters after many of the characters in this. Wonderful stuff.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think a part of me still believes they exist! Every time something really random goes missing, like a tea strainer, I think that they needed a vegetable strainer or something. Someday I'll actually read the rest of the series; I'm curious enough now.

      Delete
    2. Ohhhhhh, yes. I blame the disappearance of small things on them all the time. Out loud. "I suppose it's those borrowers again," and so on.

      I think my favorite was The Borrowers Aloft. They get to live in a model railroad village for a while!!!

      Delete

Mini Book Review: A Thing of Beauty by Lisa Samson (2015)

Former child star Fiona Hume deserted the movie biz a decade ago--right after she left rehab. She landed in Baltimore, bought a dilapidate...