Title: The Littles Go to School0-590-42129-8
Author: John Peterson
Illustrator: Roberta Carter Clark
Pages: 69
Reading Level: 7-9
Star Rating: ★★

The Littles have what? Tails? You’ve got to be kidding me…

The Story.

The Littles are very happy to share a house with the George W. Bigg family – after all, it’s not like they bother each other. How could they when the Biggs are normal-sized and the Littles are, well, little sized?

In fact, so little do they bother each other, that the Biggs don’t even know that they share the house with the Littles. Because the Littles live in the walls. They only venture out into the house when they are certain that the Biggs are not about. For the Littles must never be seen by the Biggs. Or else, the Biggs might… freak out. Because the Littles are only six inches tall. And they have tails.

Tom and Lucy Little, the youngest of the bunch, are kept very busy by their school teacher writing book reports and science papers. But Lucy is scared at the thought of leaving her comfortable home to go and spend a week at school. Tom tries to comfort her, but to no avail. She is terrified.

But, while out on one of their romps, Tom and Lucy carelessly allow themselves to be caught while in the hamsters’ cage and taken to school against their wills. Once at school, Tom and Lucy make good their escape and no one sees them. But will they ever return home? And will Lucy overcome her fear of school?

Cautions.

So… the main characters in this book are called ‘Littles’. That is their classification. But what are they, exactly? They are six inch tall people who live in the walls of regular sized people’s houses and have tails. Yeah. TAILS! Ewww.

The Littles function in a miniature human culture, although they hampered by the inconvenient necessity that they can never be seen by regular people. They live in the walls and eat regularly served meals around tables, observe familial connections, and participate in human activities such as exercise, education, and flight.

As a fantasy culture, the Littles weren’t really problematic – there is absolutely no magic, and the world their world is governed by precisely the same laws as humans. They are called people and act like people. The only thing that is different is their size and their tails.

The whole point of the story is how scared Lucy is of going to school, but how she shouldn’t be frightened because it’s really such a wonderful place. All of the grownups are agreed; Lucy must go to school because it will be good for her. After Lucy spends half of a day in school, she decides that she loves it and can hardly wait to go back.

While at school, Tom and Lucy come across a poster with a ‘book report monster’. An illustration is included which is a bit freakish – it even has vampire teeth!

‘Golly’ and ‘darn’ are each used once.

Conclusion. Not especially problematic for someone willing to overlook the fantastical element, but not a book that I would especially recommend.

Review © 2013 Laura Verret

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