The Littles return!
Christmas time is approaching, and Tom and Lucy Little are wrought up with suspense and excitement. And not just because they’re looking forward to getting gifts themselves – although that’s fun, too. No, their excitement is over the secret gift they and their father are planning to give to their mother! But can they keep it a secret from her, or will their plans be ruined?
As I’ve already mentioned in my reviews of The Littles and the Lost Children and The Littles Go to School, the main characters of this series 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. Yes, tails.
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 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 aren’t really problematic – there is absolutely no magic, and 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.
Throughout the story, Tom shows a bent for disobedience. In the first chapter, he and Lucy disobey their parents by venturing out into the middle of the floor and are very nearly caught by Mr. Bigg. They agree not to tell their parents. Later, they play in one of Henry Bigg’s toys and Tom wants to keep that a secret from his parents too, but Lucy goes home and tells them all about it. The Littles are a very close-knit family and all work together in the end to help fix Mr. Bigg’s toy.
In this particular story, the celebration of Christmas is central.
A few cultural references – Mrs. Bigg says that they are going to watch a movie called Octopon Versus the Squid Women from Atlantis. Lucy tells Tom he looks like the “Jolly Green Elf” after he gets paint on his hands. When the Littles are exploring one of Henry Biggs’ toys, Tom says, “This must be what rock stars feel like on stage!” One Little posits that another may be psychic, but he is ridiculed (and wrong).
Lastly, Mr. Bigg (who is a toymaker) is interviewed by a man named “Mr. Winters” whose first name is “Klaus”. Although he’s never called Santa, his physical description and love for cookies make it obvious who he is.
‘Darn’ is used a couple times, while ‘heck’ and ‘gee’ are each used once.
Conclusion. Not at all a necessary read, but not a bad one, either.
Review © 2014 Laura Verret