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"Never read books you aren't sure about . . . even supposing that these bad books are very well written from a literary point of view. Let me ask you this: Would you drink something you knew was poisoned just because it was offered to you in a golden cup?"

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Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Lambkins by Eve Bunting

My tweens enjoyed this… even the one who’s really a bit old for it. I think they liked the picture of the red, glaring eyeball on the front cover.

It belongs to a mentally-unhinged lady named Mrs. Shepherd, who is peeking into a dollhouse, one with real people in it!

This book has little of the sweetness and light of the The Littles. Mrs. Shepherd has kidnapped 4 people and a dog and shrunk them to stay in her dollhouse and keep her company since the death of her husband. There was one more young man, but he died of injuries he sustained when Mrs. Shepherd, infuriated by his escape attempt, threw him against the wall.

In the end, it is necessary to take her out by a David and Goliath maneuver, injuring her badly with a stone thrown straight to the forehead.

My quibbles with the Lambkins are minor. The psychotic kidnapper is what the tension of the plot revolves around, and I thought that as a villain, she was age-appropriate. I was sorry to see the casual use of the word ‘butt,” as in that is where they received the shot that kept them shrunk. We still consider a coarse word. There was one use of “dam..” And Mr. Shepherd was a scientist who was into experimenting with manipulating the intelligence of embryos. At least he’s associated with a crazy woman. The boy who was kidnapped alluded to hearing of evil kidnappers who… and was then cut off.

It seems everyone, or at least, every little girl, likes to imagine what living doll-size would be like. Add the suspense of a nutty woman keeping you captive, and it’s a fairly fun story.



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