July 2014, Puffin, 224 pages, Paperback, Review copy
Summary from Puffin
Puffin Modern Classics are relaunched under a new logo: A PUFFIN BOOK. There are 20 titles to collect in the series, listed below, all with exciting new covers and fun-filled endnotes. (Nayu: I picked the Borrowers to read form the list which can be seen on the Puffin link)
The Borrowers live in the secret places of quiet old houses; behind the mantelpiece, inside the harpsichord, under the kitchen clock. They own nothing, borrow everything, and think that human beings were invented just to do the dirty work. Arrietty's father, Pod, was an expert Borrower. He could scale curtains using a hatpin, and bring back a doll's teacup without breaking it. Girls weren't supposed to go borrowing but as Arrietty was an only child her father broke the rule, and then something happened which changed their lives. She made friends with the human boy living in the house...
Ever since I can remember I've read the Borrowers' tales (well, the first one at any rate). When I first saw this new edition was up for review I automatically thought of the BBC adaptation. When I read this book I imagined the TV characters' voices speaking out to me, especially Homily who is definitely a character! Posh & proud is how I think of her. I love Arietty's desire to explore, to see other Borrowers, despite the dangers which she gets to experience first hand. I love hearing about the other types of borrowers, who all have characteristics unique to where they live in the house. I love the story of the narrator, which isn't long but leaves me yearning for more about her life. The extra parts of the book including a quiz and a bit of background on the story are interesting to read and expand my love of the series.
I also love imagining Pod going borrowing in my house, and thinking of what Homily might use to decorate her home with. They could use my empty tea-light cases for a wash basin, or grow a plant in it, or stack them for storage boxes. Mind you, if I found Arietty I'd give her my old dollshouse, and make sure my cat stayed away from them all so they could live happily and in safety. What do you think you'd do if you found a borrower? What would you give them?
A modern read which reminds me of The Borrowers is The Gobbins Go Batty by Jeanne Willis (Children's, 7 years +, 10E/10E)