Saturday, July 16, 2011

Book Review: The Borrowers by Mary Norton

Another beloved classic from my childhood! But this one has a weird twist. We had this book on audio when I was a kid, and I must have listened to it a dozen times. Even though it's been a few decades since then, I could not get that narrator's voice out of my head! She didn't have a bad voice, although she read much more slowly than I do, and I didn't always agree with her inflections. Have you ever had that problem?

I am sure I have had Borrowers. Although I was quite shocked in my very first apartment of the audacity when they "borrowed" my copy of How to Make an American Quilt which I eventually had to repurchase in order to finish! Sadly, I am not an ideal house for them - I am too neat and organized and have an irregular schedule. I do in fact keep track of my safety pins in one place, although they could occasionally take one or two small things from my junk drawer, I am sure they do not in this house. I think that's a little sad, although I am glad to always have my needles and matches and bottle tops when I look for them. This is an enchanting story that must have come up when someone was frustrated with how these small things sometimes seem to just disappear, like socks in the dryer.

I'm not 100% certain I'm sure why there is the framing story of Kate and Mrs. May, except that this way whether or not the story is really true can be fudged, since it's being told second hand. This is a pretty common trope in the era, but it doesn't do much for me. I don't remember the other books in the series well - I am sure I read them although probably only once - so I don't know if Kate and Mrs. May become more important in any of them. But it doesn't detract from the story at all to have them there.

I wish Arrietty, Homily and Pod well on their journeys! I hope they don't run into any danger getting to the badger set and I hope they find Aunt Lupy. This story of basically, a dollhouse come to life, is a perfect tale for any imaginative child. Particularly if they are prone to losing barrettes, pens, and small toys.

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.


Julie P. said...

I don't think I've ever read this one but I thought I had....

I love that you featured a classic this week!

Jillian said...

Enjoyed this story so much, and loved the movie as a kid!