Friday, December 25, 2015

The Secret of the Blue Glass by Tomiko Inui

What if you had a family of little people living with you?  What if they needed milk each day to stay alive?  And what if there was no milk to have?

Pushkin Children's Books and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published January 26th.  

I read about the Littles growing up, have met brownies and other creatures in stories, but this is the first time I've heard of about little people in Japan.  That caught my interest so I had to read this story.

This family of little people is not as independent as the Littles I read about as a youth.  They need shelter where they will be safe and they need the milk for nourishment.  They use a blue glass bottle to hold their milk.

While this story is fantasy, there's also discussion of WWII and it's impact on this Japanese family.  The father is incarcerated for thinking and saying he didn't think they needed to go to war.  The oldest son dies in the war.  The family is separated.  And milk is short.  

The little people's children have begun venturing out on the roof and into the great outdoors.  They ride on the back of a bird.  When the girl can't get them more milk, they move on to live with another small person who is a whirlwind.  The girl finally wins them back but life has changed.  The war is over.  Now everyone has to go home and start over.  

While the story has sad parts, it's the hope for the future that counts.  Even the little people are making life changes.

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