Um, Did You See My Computer Anywhere? The Borrowers by Mary Norton

The Borrowers by Mary Norton. 1952.

An adventure-filled story that ends up being a bit of a mystery. Are the borrowers real?

I can see the appeal—what child doesn’t wonder who got off with their pencil stub or favorite toy car? The characters are richly drawn, the details making the little people believable and the whole story credible.

I don’t see the necessity of the first person narrator switching to talk about herself in the third person (except perhaps for credibility), especially since the first person narrator never returns after the opening page(s). Funny how Dahl employs a whole different use of human “bean” in his wild fantasy. There are odd similarities (giants in their own world alongside humans, vs. little people). I also felt a little cheated at the lack of emotional weight. Arrietty’s desire for adventure is a powerful one, her feeling caged, wanting to expand her world a bit. And she does initiate change for her family but ... I suppose switching back to Mrs. May and leaving so much speculation about the ending was unsettling to me and left the story feeling unfinished.

Of special note: the world-building is fabulous. The details used to create the world make it seem logical, if not expected, that a whole society of little people exists in every backyard or beneath every floorboard.