The Borrowers and Thoughts on Children’s Literature


Last December I wrote this post about the cute miniature Christmas dioramas that were in the windows at a downtown department store called The Bay. I spoke about my lifelong love of tiny things.

One of the comments left was from a dear on-line friend Vix, who keeps the blog Vintage Vix. She is a real sweetheart with such a bright outlook on life and a killer vintage style of dressing. It is no wonder that all who meet Vix on-line (and I’m sure in real life too) love this lady. I highly recommend you pop over and make her acquaintance. I guarantee that she will keep you entertained. (I know that a few of you already know Vix, as it is through her that I fortuitously got to know you!)

Anyway, in response to my post about my enchantment with miniatures, she suggested that I check out a series of books called ‘The Borrowers’. I must admit that I was living under a rock where this series of books is concerned. They are children’s literature, written in in the fifties by Mary Norton, and the tales describe the adventures of a tiny family, amidst a world of normal sized people. But I bet you already know that and many of you probably read these books as youngsters.



In spite of loving my regular trips to the library and volunteering as a library assistant during my years in grade-school, I somehow completely missed The Borrowers series. I know that if I had seen them I would certainly have been interested in reading them. As for what I did read, my favourite classic reads back then were the Pippi Longstocking and Encyclopedia Brown books, closely followed by anything by Beverly Cleary. Then when I was a bit older, my most beloved stories were ‘The Secret Garden’ and ‘A Tree Grows in Brooklyn’. And I simply could not get my hands on enough Nancy Drew books, and remember my across-the-street neighbour giving me a stack of those after she’d read them, a gift I was very pleased to receive.

My first adult book was a tattered copy of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’. Around that time I read JD Salinger’s ‘Catcher in the Rye’, but have to say that though I tried his ‘Franny and Zooey’, I could never get into that one.

Later at university I took an elective course that featured children’s literature, where we did in-depth study of Alice in Wonderland, The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe, and The Hobbit. I must admit that I spent far too much time reading those books while tackling a full course load of my core courses in Economics, Math, Statistics and Finance. It was a welcome distraction but probably not something I would advise a student to do, as there was a lot of required reading. I remember that I took the course with one of my housemates who was also completing a degree in business, and she had to drop the Children’s lit class. That said, here I am today fondly recalling this particular course, while I’d be challenged to solve a Calculus equation if I needed to.

These days I still enjoy a good story written for a younger person in mind, and count The Hunger Games among my all-time favourite books, and also rather enjoyed the first Twilight book, although I’ve not pursued the subsequent ones in that series.

As for The Harry Potter books, I enjoyed the first one and plan to read the others one day.








But somehow, The Borrowers and I never crossed paths, until Vix told me about them 3 months ago. As soon as she suggested them, I popped online and after finding many worn out used copies of the individual books, I found this complete set (reprinted in 1998), and still sealed. In these photos you are seeing them for the first time along with me.

I am so excited to dig into ‘The Complete Adventures of The Borrowers’, described as ‘Three little people and their not-so-little adventures’.

And motivated by having these books I am starting a mini series on my blog where I will discuss what I would have in my dream dollhouse, featuring fantastic miniature items I have found on ebay.

Stay tuned for my first post on this, which will feature what I think a perfect dollhouse kitchen would look like.

How about you? Have you read The Borrowers? What were some of your favourite children’s literature books?

Thanks for coming by,
xo loulou