Secret, miniature worlds within worlds are a popular theme in children’s literature, from Frances Hodgson Burnett’s Racketty-Packetty House to The Borrowers. Hayley Scott creates a fresh, contemporary adventure for little characters in her new series, Teacup House. Stevie and her mum are moving from their home at the top of a city tower block to a cottage in the country. Though it will mean they live closer to Stevie’s dad, she’s not happy to be leaving her old room, school and friends. Just before they leave Stevie’s Nanny Blue arrives with a special present: a teacup house with eight windows, a front and back door, sitting neatly in a little saucer that is also a garden. There’s a bag of furniture too and another with the Teacup House inhabitants, the Twitches, a family of tiny, toy rabbits. When she first sees them, Stevie feels for a moment that there is magic in the air.
As the moving van pulls up to the house, Stevie accidentally drops the daddy Twitch in the garden. From here the Twitches take up the story. When mother rabbit Bo and her children Silver and Fig realise that daddy Gabriel is missing, Silver launches a daring rescue attempt, which requires fashioning a parachute out of sweet wrappers, pins and tissue paper. An exciting adventure unfolds amongst the long grass of the garden before the family are reunited to be tucked into their bed by Stevie, who is also feeling settled in her new home.
Stevie is quick enough to realise that her grandma’s present is meant to make her happy about the move, and the story provides both excitement and reassurance of all kinds to readers, a chance for them to experience the upset of separation for example, before a happy reunion; Silver is calm and practical under pressure as she bravely rescues her dad.
The series should be a big hit with young readers and Pippa Curnick’s colour illustrations are absolutely gorgeous.