The Borrowers

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Beth And Chrissi Do Kid Lit 2016 – The Round Up

Published January 1, 2017 by bibliobeth

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Image from http://www.parentspartner.com/childrens-literature/

Hello everyone and welcome to Beth And Chrissi Do Kid-Lit 2016 The Round Up where we’ll be talking about our highlights (and lowlights) of our Kid Lit year. As always, we’ve read some fantastic books and series, some of which we will be continuing into 2017. Please find below all the books we read and the links to my reviews. For Chrissi’s reviews the link will be at the bottom of each original post.

JANUARY- The Demon Headmaster- Gillian Cross

FEBRUARY- Carrie’s War- Nina Bawden

MARCH- The Boy In The Dress- David Walliams

APRIL- Noble Conflict- Malorie Blackman

MAY- The Horse and His Boy- C.S Lewis

JUNE- The Borrowers- Mary Norton

JULY- Maggot Moon- Sally Gardner

AUGUST- Looking For JJ- Anne Cassidy

SEPTEMBER – The Wolves of Willoughby Chase-Joan Aiken

OCTOBER- Ballet Shoes- Noel Streatfeild

NOVEMBER- A Series of Unfortunate Events- Lemony Snicket 

DECEMBER- The Boy Who Sailed The Ocean In An Armchair- Lara Williamson

So, in the style of the “Talking About…” reviews we normally do, we thought we’d answer a quick few questions about our fourth (!!) year of Kid-Lit blogging.

1) What was your favourite Kid-Lit book of 2016 and why?
BETH: Tough choice this year as there were a few books I really, really loved. If I had to choose one though it would be The Wolves Of Willoughby Chase. Totally surprised me with how much I enjoyed it and it had such a classic, old-time feel to it which was fantastic.
CHRISSI: Mine would be The Wolves of Willoughby Chase or The Boy Who Sailed The Ocean In An Armchair. I can’t pick… sorry! Both had such charm.
2) What was your least favourite Kid-Lit book of 2016 and why?
BETH: Hmmm…..Ballet Shoes. Definitely the most disappointing. I struggled to get through it if I’m honest and got a bit bored about halfway through.
CHRISSI: I would say Ballet Shoes as well. I really thought it would be a book that I loved because I’m a massive fan of books that involve dance and love that era, but no, it wasn’t for me.
3) What was the Kid-Lit book of 2016 that surprised you the most?
BETH: The Horse And His Boy for sure. I didn’t have fond memories of it as a child. In fact, it was my least favourite of all the Narnia books. I was surprised to discover that it wasn’t as bad as I remembered and I actually really enjoyed it!
CHRISSI: It would be Looking for JJ for me as I didn’t expect to be as gripped as I was by the story. I devoured it!
4) Have you been inspired to read any other books from a Kid-Lit author of 2016?
BETH: I fell completely under the spell of Lara Williamson after reading The Boy Who Sailed The Ocean In An Armchair and would really love to read her debut novel A Boy Called Hope.
CHRISSI: I will definitely continue with the Percy Jackson series. I don’t know if I can wait each kid-lit year to read the series though!

For anyone who reads these posts, thank you so much for your continued support, we love doing this challenge and hope to continue it indefinitely. Coming tomorrow – the big reveal for Kid-Lit 2017! Which titles made it this year? And which titles are we going to have to do er…. another year?!

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Beth And Chrissi Do Kid-Lit 2016 – JUNE READ – The Borrowers by Mary Norton

Published July 3, 2016 by bibliobeth

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What’s it all about?:

Beneath the kitchen floor is the world of the Borrowers — Pod and Homily Clock and their daughter, Arrietty. In their tiny home, matchboxes double as roomy dressers and postage stamps hang on the walls like paintings. Whatever the Clocks need they simply “borrow” from the “human beans” who live above them. It’s a comfortable life, but boring if you’re a kid. Only Pod is allowed to venture into the house above, because the danger of being seen by a human is too great. Borrowers who are seen by humans are never seen again. Yet Arrietty won’t listen. There is a human boy up there, and Arrietty is desperate for a friend.

What did I think?:

The Borrowers was one of those classic children’s books that I never took the opportunity to read when I was younger although I am aware of the gist of the story, mainly through the film that was made with British actor Jim Broadbent. One of my favourite films when I was younger (and a bit of a guilty pleasure!) was Honey I Shrunk The Kids and I remember being fascinated about how frightening the human world must look to someone no bigger than an ant so I was looking forward to seeing how this particular world would be portrayed.

The borrowers are little people who live in “normal-sized” humans houses, mainly under the floorboards or behind furniture to escape notice if they possibly can. Of course, they have to live and eat the same way as you or I do so they designate a member or members of their family as borrowers who sneak out whilst the house is quiet and borrow items that they need from the regular humans. This can include bits of leftover food or drink, or things they can find useful round the house like cotton reels to use as stools, blotting paper to use as carpets or even postage stamps which they can hang as portraits on their walls.

The particular family we learn about in this story is the Clocks, (named as they live behind the large grandfather clock in the hall) consisting of father and mother Pod and Homily and their only daughter Arrietty. Arrietty has never known life above the floorboards of their little den although she can occasionally see a bit of the garden and the sunshine through the grating in the wall. Her mother and father are very protective of her but soon realise that they have to be honest and warn her about the dangers of being seen by the humans that live upstairs.

Far from being horrified though, Arrietty is enthralled by their tales which sound far more exciting than the life she currently leads. She begs her mother and father to let her go out borrowing one time with her father Pod to experience what life is like beyond the clock. Although extremely worried, her parents reluctantly agree and Arrietty gets to see this whole new magical world where everything is much larger, much more thrilling and indeed much more dangerous than she could have ever imagined. However, when Arrietty herself is seen by a young boy who is living at the house at the time, she realises the small world she has become so accustomed to has the potential to change forever.

This was a lovely story to read and I particularly enjoyed the illustrations in my Kindle version by Joe Krush which added  an extra bit of magic to an imaginative and exciting plot. Arrietty was probably my favourite character in the narrative – I have to admit, her mother Homily annoyed me slightly and the young boy in the story was also ever so slightly irritating although I warmed to him a lot more when he started helping the Borrowers out as the tension rose and their lives became threatened. I can imagine a lot of readers falling in love with the independent, brave yet soft-hearted Arrietty and I admired her resilience as everything she has known comes crashing down around her. There are a lot of great things about the story that young children will love and Mary Norton certainly writes in an entertaining way that kept me engaged until the end.

For Chrissi’s fabulous post, please see her blog HERE.

Would I recommend it?:

Probably!

Star rating (out of 5):

3 Star Rating Clip Art

Beth And Chrissi Do Kid-Lit – The Titles For 2016 Revealed!

Published January 1, 2016 by bibliobeth

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Image from http://uweb.cas.usf.edu/~dslone/Pathfinders/weber.htm

Welcome 2016! Welcome to a new year of Beth and Chrissi Do Kid-Lit. Without further ado, here are the titles we have chosen for the year ahead:

JANUARY- The Demon Headmaster- Gillian Cross

FEBRUARY- Carrie’s War- Nina Bawden

MARCH- The Boy In The Dress- David Walliams

APRIL- Noble Conflict- Malorie Blackman

MAY- The Horse and His Boy- C.S Lewis

JUNE- The Borrowers- Mary Norton

JULY- Maggot Moon- Sally Gardner

AUGUST- Looking For JJ- Anne Cassidy

SEPTEMBER – The Wolves of Willoughby Chase-Joan Aiken

OCTOBER- Ballet Shoes- Noel Streatfeild

NOVEMBER- A Series of Unfortunate Events- Lemony Snicket 

DECEMBER- The Boy Who Sailed The Ocean In An Armchair- Lara Williamson

Like last year, we’ve picked a mixture of “classic,” children’s literature and some newer titles. I’m really looking forward to re-visiting one of my old favourites, The Demon Headmaster and continuing the Narnia series with The Horse And His Boy. I also can’t wait to read titles such as Carrie’s War which I’ve been meaning to read for so long and Ballet Shoes which I’ve heard a lot of good things about. What do you think of our titles? Have you read any of these? Which do you recommend? Let us know in the comments!