Have you ever put down an everyday object such as a safety pin then later, despite searching high and low, been unable to find it again? You have? Me too! Is it possible that you have a family of Borrowers living in your house? I'm sure I must have.
The Borrower stories by Mary Norton were first published in 1952 and have been popular ever since. The first book in the series, which won the Carnegie Medal in 1952, is called simply The Borrowers. This book introduces us to the Clock family, made up of father Pod, mother Homily and their daughter Arrietty. They live under the floorboards in a manor house and they enter their home through a gap in the floorboards under the clock in the hall, hence the name - Clock family. (Incidentally, the manor house was based on a house near Leighton Buzzard where Mary Norton lived for part of her childhood.) The family survive by 'borrowing' everyday objects to use as furniture (boxes), utensils (half a pair of nail scissors) and tools (a hatpin). Food and crumbs left by the humans provide their nourishment. Despite many warnings about talking to humans Arrietty speaks to a young boy sent to convalesce with his great aunt and the repercussions force the family to flee from the manor house.