A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this classic tale retains its appeal, but some children may find it slow. Fear of capture makes the borrowing expeditions tense. The occasional black-and-white line art helps to make the tiny Borrowers more real for the young reader. Detailed descriptions of how the Borrowers use everyday objects bring the reader's imagination to life.
What's the story?
Borrowers are tiny people who live under the floorboards and survive by borrowing from the big people in the house. When the Clocks are discovered by the big people, they must find a new home before the exterminator gets them. This classic has survived for half a century because it charms young and old alike.
Is it any good?
While Mrs. May is recounting the wondrous tale of her brother's encounter with the Clock family to young Kate, your child will be equally enthralled. The descriptions of how the family uses our everyday trinkets fascinate children and often inspire them to create their own Borrower homes. Don't be surprised if, after the book is finished, you find your children crawling around the house looking for their own Borrowers.
Though it's often imitated in both books and movies, no one has ever managed to duplicate the appeal of Norton's infusion of magic into the everyday. Something about her cleverness and matter-of-fact style, and the humdrum lives to which the Borrowers aspire, makes the whole thing seem so plausible that it's hard to believe there aren't Borrowers scuttling through the walls and floors of your own home.
Talk to your kids about ...
- Author: Mary Norton
- Illustrator: Beth and Joe Krush
- Genre: Fantasy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Brothers and Sisters, Cats, Dogs, and Mice, Misfits and Underdogs
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Harcourt Brace
- Publication date: April 1, 2003
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 9 - 12
- Number of pages: 180
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