Mary Norton has a place in history for children's books with her remarkable series "The Borrowers." The tiny animals, so like humans, who live in the homes of humans and sustain themselves by "borrowing" items the humans would never miss: hat pins, buttons, the end of a candle, safety pins, pencil stubs, tiny scraps of cheese or vegetables, the sort of things that humans never miss yet have often said "Why can I never find a medium needle when I want one?"
My reviews of all the other Borrower books will give you a solid foundation from which to move but "Poor Stainless" is slightly different. To begin with it's not a full novel but rather a short story. It is perhaps the length of a chapter from one of the other books. It was written in 1966, a full twenty years before the final installment, "The Borrowers Avenged" and though this book is a delight and offers us a view into the great house, Firbank, back when Homily was a young girl and the great house had dozens and dozens of Borrowers. This book is not chronological as it is Homily and Arriety sitting beside the grating at the old house from the first book when Arriety says, "tell me a story."
The story that follows is charming and wonderful. There are a few tiny things that caught this eye- a hard core Borrowers fan since I was nine. Homily refers to the residents above as "Human Beings" instead of "Human Beans" and error that is not corrected until Arriety meets an Overmantel in the last book. Secondly Homily refers to a group of Borrowers as "people" which reminds one of the third book when Homily is aghast when Aunt Lupy says, "It's only human." Okay, this is an unfair criticism- most readers won't have noticed, but the few of us who will are likely to have it interrupt their concentration as though tripping over a brick in the path. Still, the story is so well constructed, we get to meet more and more Borrowers, we learn of Homily as a teenager, her family, sister and little brother. We learn something of their form of ...well, government, if you will and we fall in love with a little Borrower boy, who is so clearly lonely and bored within the lathe and plaster of the b ig house that he irritates the older teenage girls. But then he goes missing while stepping out to borrow a twig of parsley. From then o n his name, and the title of the book, becomes "Poor Stainless."
One cannot review a Mary Norton book without discussing the illustrations of Beth and Joe Krush who are masters at line drawing. The detail of late 19th century England is remarkable, symmetric, period appropriate and brilliant. Within this book there are a few instances of incorrect perspective regarding the size of the Borrowers themselves. Again, a veritable minute criticism given what this small book turns into. But everyone who buys this book is going to compare it to the fulkl length novel and it falls just slightly short of that.
Still, I do not regret buying it at all, and I bought it here in Amazon through their used book program so that a company on Oregon satisfied me. It may well be serving to tell you of how often I have used this alternative form of Amazon. I've purchased at least fifty books in this way and have never been disappointed. I tend to look at three things when a list appears: The price, the condition and the location. I have learned not to trust ratings completely as they are assembled by the general public. It is like the typical theatre critic. In order to write a review on a Broadway production the reviewer needn't have any sort of credentials at all. Amazon's reviewers often write a single sentence that just says, "I liked this book very much and my husband liked it too" which of course does nothing. When you're dealing with a shipped product (USPS, UPS, FedEx) the seller is at the mercy o the shipping company and I don't know about you, but my own post delivery person has been known to lose letters and packages under her front seat for as much as a week or three.
Trust the alternative sellers. And buy "Poor Stainless." In fact, it may well be a good way to start your children on the Borrowers. Once you read them this they will want all four books.
- 出版社: Harcourt Childrens Books; Reissue (1985年11月1日)
- 语种： 英语
- ISBN: 0152632212
- 条形码: 9780152632212
- 商品尺寸: 17.1 x 0.6 x 21.6 cm
- 商品重量: 227 g
- ASIN: 0152632212
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