by Mary Norton
illustrated by Diana Stanley
Week of August 9, 2009
Arrietty finally gets her chance to view the outside world “outside.” After pestering her father, he agrees to let her go outside and down to the graveled path with its very smooth stones. Then she convinces her father to let her move around the corner of the house to the grating so that she can show her mother that she is okay. Then it’s off to the garden area where she plays in the flowers, and examines a large green beetle and dances in front of an ant. She is having the time of her life, exploring amongst the grass and flowers and enjoying all the scents from the damp ground to the flowers and grass. She found a primrose and used it as a parasol against the sun. She lay down amongst the primroses and they felt cool; then, as she looked sideways through the grass and up the bank something moved, something glittered. Arrietty started.
Arrietty gets a real sense of freedom in this chapter. It’s fun to imagine her running outside through the flowers and playing with a beetle, seeing everything up close and being able to touch everything. Pod is a real softie to give in to her wishes to go outside to the path and then to go to the grating, then to the garden area. She did get out of distance of his voice, which I’m sure would not please Pod if he realized it.
I think now that she has been “out”, she will never be happy confined to the apartment.
One kind of gets a different look at flowers from this angle. I have never looked through a flower up at the sun. What was the beetle thinking as Arrietty laid her hand on its back? Do beetles think? It is a living creature? It must think about food, water, a family??
I wonder what the author of this book, and the other books we have
read as a group, would think of us dissecting their books. I think they would
probably be pleased and very interested in the different points of view expressed.
I think she must be just over the hill with joy. Arrietty seems to need a lot of freedom and space--she would love to be outside all the time!
If I wrote a book and someone picked it to discuss--I'd be thrilled!