Funny how folks like to get discussions and memes rolling around online. The chatter reminds me of times, as a child, I’d sit unnoticed on the floor in a room full of adults and listen to their conversations. We were seen and not heard back then.
I picked up the June meme from Stu Allen, who blogs about reading translated books at Winstonsdadsblog. Stu was enlisted in #BookADayUK by the Borough Press, the HarperCollins imprint where the initiative started.
Day 1: My favorite book from childhood might be The Borrowers, the first in Mary Norton’s series about miniature people who exist, like mice, unseen by the normal-size family whose home they share. Originally published by Dent in the UK and Harcourt, Brace & World in the US, the books currently are found in Scholastic’s catalogue.
Looking back, I can see why I fancied The Borrowers. In an era when children were not considered the center of the universe, many of us must have identified with Mary Norton’s tiny characters and imagined ourselves caught up in similar adventures. Pod, Homily, and Arrietty managed one narrow escape after another, as I recall, even though the excitement always took place within a completely comfortable radius of home.
This is from the second book in the series, The Borrowers Afield:
All was quiet as she stole toward the gothic-shaped opening. The log-box, she found, was a good inch and a half away. It was easy enough to slip out and ease her tiny body along the narrow passage left between the side of the box and the wall. Again a little frightening: suppose some human being decided suddenly to shove the log-box into place; she would be squashed, she thought, and found long afterwards glued to the wainscot, like some strange, pressed flower. For this reason, she moved fast, and reaching the box’s corner, she stepped out on the hearth.
On a tangent, the animated rats featured in a few episodes of the IFC series Portlandia remind me of the Borrowers. In this episode, the rats decide to write a book: