Friday, January 3, 2020

"The Indian in the Cupboard" by Lynne Reid Banks

This is one of my absolute favorite books of all time.  I loved it as a kid and I love it now.  I hadn't read it in more than a decade, but I pulled it out to read aloud to my kids, and they loved it too, especially my daughters.

Omri's friend Patrick gives him a little plastic Indian for his birthday.  Omri's brother gives him an old cupboard he found in the alley.  Omri's mother finds him an old, old key that fits the lock on the cupboard, and he's delighted because now he has a place to put things.  Don't we all love places to put things?  I know I do.

Anyway, Omri puts his plastic Indian in the cupboard and locks it and goes to sleep.  And when he wakes up, he discovers that the Indian has come alive.  But is still only a couple inches tall.  But totally alive.  His name is Little Bear, and he is the most demanding, fierce, bossy tiny person you've ever heard of.  But also endearingly brave.

My favorite parts of this book are all about Omri scrambling to provide things Little Bear needs.  A tiny campfire, bark for a longhouse, food, and so on.  I love miniature things, which is a big part of why books like this and The Borrowers appeal to me.  And why I love playing with my kids' Calico Critters with them and keep buying them more for their birthdays.  Anyway, when Omri tells Patrick about this magical event, Patrick wants a tiny person too and sticks a plastic cowboy in the cupboard.  And the cowboy, Billy "Boohoo" Boone, is my other favorite thing about this story.  He's cantankerous and belligerent and softhearted.

I love everything about this book, and I've read three of the sequels too, though I didn't love them as much.

If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It: PG for some tiny acts of violence and for taking God's name in vain a few times.


  1. My favorite part is the same as you! This is such a good book!

  2. I have not read this in decades, but I also loved it as a kid.

    1. Charity, it holds up quite well as an adult read too, I think.

  3. There is already a movie of this book and it is rated PG. Here you can read more:

    1. Anonymous, that's true, there is. I've seen the movie version, and it was okay, but not as wonderful as the book.


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