Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Little Secret by Kate Saunders

Even though Jane was reluctant at first, she and the new girl at school, Staffa, become close friends. Even Staffa’s controlling mother, Lady Matilda, is happy with their growing friendship. Lady Matilda even gains permission to have Jane join her and Staffa on their summer vacation. As their vacation begins, Jane notices that Lady Matilda acts strangely around a small, beautifully painted box that she warns the girls never to touch. When the group reach their destination on a lonely Scottish island, the box is opened and all three of them are sucked into the miniature world inside. In this world, Lady Matilda is an oppressive queen over her children and subjects. But when she tries to control Jane’s future, Lady Matilda underestimates Jane’s powerful potential.

Saunders creates a unique fairy-tale adventure in The Little Secret. In this world bugs are the means of transportation and food and sugar is a valuable commodity. But in this micro-kingdom, Queen Matilda is a dictator that forces anyone, including her children, to obey her every whim. When Jane is tricked into joining the Matilda’s kingdom, Jane becomes the lynchpin that inspires a kingdom-wide revolution. A smartly written and lively tale with great descriptions and details told from an insect-like perspective. Fans of such classic children’s books like Stuart Little or The Borrowers would enjoy Saunders story. Great for young readers, ages 8 and up.   

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