Quantcast

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Book Review: The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks

I never read this modern children's classic, but a friend recently pushed it on me, and I'm glad she did. I definitely think it would have been a much better read if I were a kid, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Omri (what a weird name, and it isn't explained!) got a plastic Indian for his birthday from his friend Patrick, and his brother got him an old cabinet he picked up from an alley. They found a key in his mother's key collection that actually fit and worked! Omri put the Indian in the cabinet and locked it. In the morning, he heard noises coming from the cabinet, and the Indian was alive! Little Bear is an interesting character himself, brave, demanding, and quick to anger. The responsibility Omri feels makes him grow up quite quickly. He has to protect Little Bear, keep him warm and fed and away from his brother's white rat. The situation gets complicated.

This book would be just perfect for young boys. Not only is the Indian (and later a cowboy) appealing and all the protagonists are boys, but there's a little bit of fighting and it's all about the practicalities. There are 4 more books in the series. The book is exciting and fast-paced. The secrecy increases the tension and the outcome. Omri is a pretty typical boy, occasionally getting in trouble in school, teasing his brothers, and being messy. Any young readers should identify with him readily.

This review is a part of Kid Konnection, hosted by Booking Mama, a collection of children's book-related posts over the weekend. I borrowed this book from a friend.

8 comments:

Brenna said...

I loved this book when I was a little girl. I remember the movie came out a year or two after I read it and I loved that as well.

Julie P. said...

I didn't read this one as a child, but I'll keep it in mind for Booking Son.

Chelle said...

I read this as a kid and loved it. I know some do not like the portrayal of Little Bear and find it, as one person I know says, "absolutely unacceptable." It's been a long time since I read the book so I'm not sure how much I agree with that statement. As a kid I just loved history coming to life in some kid's bedroom. I think that's what most readers are getting. But I wonder what Native Americans feel about it.

Pammy pam said...

I've seen the movie and this book is on my TBR list. I am also concerned what the Native American viewpoint is.

Becky (Page Turners) said...

I never read this as a child (that I remember anyway) but it sounds super sweet and something I would enjoy reading now

Christy said...

I remember liking this one as a kid because of the whole toys coming alive thing. I also liked the similarly-premised Castle in the Attic books by Elizabeth Winthrop. I don't know how well they would stand up now.

Jeane said...

I loved this book as a kid. I even read the sequels, which (to be expected) weren't quite as good but still adventuresome!

Stacy at A Novel Source said...

I'm looking for books for my son to read and I had forgotten about this classic...I will add it to the list I'm compiling for him (although he just turned 15 - would this book be too young for him? he epitomizes the word 'reluctant' reader)