The Carpet People

Book review by
Michael Berry, Common Sense Media
The Carpet People Book Poster Image
Funny fantasy about tiny rug folk a wry satire of leaders.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

A fantasy about microscopic people and creatures living within a rug, The Carpet People offers little scientific realism. However, it does explore what it means to be a good leader and whether violence is the best solution to conflicts between different cultures.

Positive Messages

The Carpet People emphasizes the virtues of the scientific method and suggests that "there may be a better way of doing things than hitting one another on the head."

Positive Role Models & Representations

The Carpet People has no single protagonist, but it shifts perspective among a handful of major characters. Each of the intrepid Munrungs plays an essential role in the quest. Glurk has immense physical strength and is sometimes craftier than he looks. Pismire admires science and learning. Bane's a good leader and knows how to motivate his troops. Snibril has spirit for adventure and wants to go to the furthest frontier of the Carpet.

Violence & Scariness

The main characters in The Carpet People face a number of grave dangers in their quest for safety within the Carpet. They fight the fierce mouls and the snargs they ride. However, the level of violence or bloodshed is fairly low, and even the most sensitive readers are unlikely to be frightened by anything in the book.


A character named "Pismire" might inspire some giggling, but the word actually means "ant."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Carpet People is an agreeable, humorous fantasy adventure written by a 17-year-old Terry Pratchett and revised by the author nearly 30 years later. It doesn't exhibit the storytelling dexterity of Pratchett's later work, but it presents a highly imaginative vision of what life might be like at a microscopic level within a carpet. Although there are battle and fight scenes, the level of violence is low, and there's no objectionable language.

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Written byAnonymous May 26, 2014

Good book

Carpet people is an original and highly imaginative book. The language is a little complicated for young kids though.

What's the story?

After the mysterious force known as the Fray destroys their home, a band of tiny, intrepid Munrungs sets off across the Carpet in search of safety and civilization. They encounter all kinds of opponents and obstacles, from treacherous mouls and fierce snargs to the mysterious wights who claim to remember the future. Each step of the way, the Munrungs wonder whether there's a better way to rule themselves and deal with their enemies.

Is it any good?

Originally written when the author was 17 and updated almost three decades later, THE CARPET PEOPLE retains some adolescent awkwardness. Narrated at a distance and lacking a single, unifying protagonist, the tale might not fully engage some readers. There's plenty of good-natured humor and wry musings on the nature of government and leadership, though. Aspiring writers also can study the story's earliest version, a 12-part serial that first appeared in Terry Pratchett's hometown newspaper.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what makes for a healthy civilization. Is it easier to rule a vast empire or to let smaller communities cooperate among themselves?

  • What kinds of things do you think author Terry Pratchett, now over 40, changed in The Carpet People since he first wrote it at age 17?

  • What would it be like if, like the wights in The Carpet People, people could remember the future as well as the past?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love fantasy

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