This was one of my favorites as a child and as I read it out loud to my own kiddo this week, I remembered why. The Borrowers is simply magical and a tale every kid can get enchanted by. The pages I read from were wrinkled with love, where I had toted it to school, to the mountain for camping, and every other place. I read it over and over again, and I’m hoping that my own kiddo will find the joy of reading this herself as she gets older. But for now, I’m happy to read it aloud, and even happier to discover what other adventures are in store for Pod, Homily, and Arriety – as we’re about to begin reading The Borrowers Afield, which I never knew existed until I worked in a bookstore as an adult.
The Borrowers Afield
I read this aloud to my five year old today. Not all in one sitting, but all in one day. It was quite the affair, filled with many tea, coffee, sandwich, and taco breaks. My voice is tired, but both our minds – despite the late hour – are alive with visions of dandelions as large as ourselves, bees to be pet like cats, and cats as large as an elephant. I long to be Spiller, dashing around a field, “borrowing” from gypsies, sailing downstream in a soap tin. I adored The Borrowers as a child, and just discovered its sequels recently; and despite having read The Borrowers Afield for the first time as an adult today, I think I might like it more. I’m enchanted, and have enjoyed all my daughter’s renderings of tiny houses with oversized flowers and butterflies, on her drawing pad today, while I read on and on. We look forward to the next book, The Borrowers Afloat.
The Borrowers Afloat and The Borrowers Aloft
The Borrowers Afloat took off just after Afield and left the Clock family living in less than desirable quarters along with the Hendrearys. It took far to long for them to actually make it down the drain the pipe and back into the out of doors, and this book along with the one after it – The Borrowers Aloft – were my least favorite. Mostly because the dangers became more and more stressful and the lives of the Clocks simultaneously more convenient but less cozy. I did very much enjoy the introduction of Miss Menzies, and so did the kiddo. We delighted in her as much as Arrietty. I still adore the entire series and these books deserve every star available to them.
The Borrowers Avenged
Finally the story of the Clocks is all wrapped up. But is it?! We lamented the ending and long to know what became of Arrietty’s whole life. Did she marry Spiller as she speculated? Or did Peagreen capture her heart as he did her mind?
It’s a shame there are no more. I’d keep reading them one right after another for years if I could. The kiddo tried to tell me, “It’s ok mama, you’ll find that she’s written a second series about them some day.” I had to tell her “the author is dead, there’s no more.” “Sure there is, you just haven’t found them yet.” I didn’t have the heart to argue further. And who knows, maybe she knows something about Mary Norton the rest of us don’t…
Now we are off into another series of books for more adventures of a different nature.
An Original Children’s Story by A.K. Klemm
He lived under a tree, where the air stood so still.
One day he looked to the top of that mound,
dreaming of what treasure could possibly be found.
where he saw greener pastures and heard birdies trill.
Their song was so beautiful, every little note.
Mr. Turtle joined in, singing cheerily by rote.
Mr. Turtle was right about the hill and its treasure.
the songs of the birds and the music of sound
and he longed to show Tree of the beauty he’d found.
So he talked to the birds and asked them to bring
the breeze and the music by the strength of their wings.
Title: The Brownie and the Princess and Other Stories
Author: Louisa May Alcott
A HarperCollins Publication
Genre: Children’s fiction
Length: 250 pages
As everyone knows, Louisa May Alcott wrote Little Women in the 1800’s and became one of the most well-known and timeless children’s literature authors of all time. The story of the March sisters is one that all little girls discover eventually, even if it isn’t until adulthood with the many movie productions (the most recent in 1994 featuring Winona Ryder, Claire Danes, and many other well-known stars). What a lot of people don’t know is that, just like Jo March, Alcott had many stories published in children’s magazines. The Brownie and the Princess and Other Stories is a collection of those stories.
One of the most delightful things about being a new mom is seeking out children’s books that I either remember loving or discovered later and wish I had owned. This particular collection was published while I was in college, so I missed the joy of reading it as a small child, but am extremely excited about having it available for my daughter.
The story of the Brownie and the Princess teaches good manners and being happy with what you have. Tabby’s Tablecloth is about patriotism and respecting antiques and the sentiments attached to them. The Hole in the Wall is beautifully innocent and romantic in a way. It’s lovely to go back to pleasant stories of gardens and happy moments strung together, skipping, playing, and the teaching of basic goodness, in the midst of a rough day of teething, tears, and tantrums. Books like these help gently aid the teaching of right from wrong.