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In The Borrowers Aloft (1961), Norton's famous Clock family--Pod, Homily, and daughter Arrietty--has escaped the attic of wicked humans Mr. and Mrs. Platter, who'd planned to get rich displaying the tiny people in a small glass house. Though readers were given to believe that the Borrowers saga was over, a slight tale-within-a-tale, Poor Stainless, appeared in 1971. And now, to the delight of another generation enchanted by the Borrowers, comes a full-fledged further adventure--detailing how the family returns overnight to their old home in Mr. Pott's model village; how they flee the pursuing Platters, aided by their friend Spiller, the undomesticated ""outdoor"" borrower; and how they end up in a partially abandoned rectory. (A caretaker couple remains in the kitchen wing, thus providing the necessary scraps for ""borrowing."") Taking with them the elegant doll-house furniture from their model village home, the Clocks set up in style under a window seat in the rectory library; the leather door to their kitchen inside a large chimney is a former book cover titled Essays of Emerson. They are united with their relatives the Hendrearys, who are established in the church next door (Aunt Lupy having taken on a touch of religion in the process), and they make a new friend, Peagreen (for Peregrine), an Overmantle no less, who formerly inhabited their window seat but now paints and writes poetry in nest boxes in an old aviary conveniently located near the larder. As in the previous Borrowers books, there is much attention to the mechanics of functioning in a giants' world--not cute thimblesand-mushrooms arrangements but real practical difficulties, solved with an ingenuity that is usually 99 percent perspiration. There is also Norton's fond observation of her typically British characters. And there is always the hovering menace from the likes of the Platters-whose pursuit of little cousin Timmis in the church makes for a grand conclusion.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1982
ISBN: 0547537743
Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich