Title: The Littles and the Lost ChildrenThe Littles and the Lost Children
Author: John Peterson
Illustrator: Roberta Carter Clark
Pages: 112
Reading Level: 8-10
Star Rating: ★★★

Remember The Littles Go to School? This is another story from the same series.

The Story.

The Small-Fry family live near the top of Smoky Mountain, where they weave beautiful fabrics. Every year they fly down into Big Valley on Sable, the raven that they tamed, and sell their fabrics to the Big Valley Tinies. This year they have decided to bring their daughter, Winkie, and nephew, Tip with them. But once they arrive at the Trash City, they are attacked by savage mice and an even more terrifying yellow cat. In the confusion, Winkie and Tip are abducted by the soldiers of Trash City while Father and Mother Small-Fry fly back to Smoky Mountain on Sable.

Will Winkle and Tip ever be reunited with Mother and Father Small-Fry?

Discussion.

So… The Littles and the Lost Children is from a series in which the main characters 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.

In this particular book, the main characters are not the Littles, but the Small-Frys and the Tinies. They (as well as the Littles) function in a miniature human culture, although they are hampered by the inconvenient necessity that they can never be seen by regular people. They 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 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.

Apart from this was the problematic – almost Freudian use of dreams. Winkle and Tip were both two years old when they were separated from the Small-Frys and adopted by the Village Tinies. All they know of their arrival there is the incorrect version that the Village Tinies have told them. But then, Winkle begins having dreams; dreams which tell her the reality of her former life and the circumstances of their arrival at Trash City. Her dreams also tell her where her parents are to be found. Using her dreams as their guide, Winkle and Tip are reunited with the Small-Frys. This theme is clinched on the last page when Uncle Nick says he was astounded by the story because,

“I didn’t think our dreams and imagination could solve problems, when they most certainly can.”

“Amen,” said Mr. Little, “and amen!” [pg. 112]

‘Golly’ is used four times, ‘gee’ twice, and ‘darn’ 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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