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The Secret of the Blue Glass

By Tomiko Inui & Ginny Tapley Takemori
The Secret of the Blue Glass by Tomiko Inui & Ginny Tapley Takemori digital book - Fable

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Publisher Description

On the first floor of the big house of the Moriyama family, is a small library. There, on the shelves next to the old books, live the Little People, a tiny family who were once brought from England to Japan by a beloved nanny. Since then, each generation of Moriyama-family children has inherited the responsibility of filling the blue glass with milk to feed the Little People and it's now Yuri's turn. 
The little girl dutifully fulfils her task but the world around the Moriyama family is changing. Japan is caught in the whirl of what will soon become World War II, turning her beloved older brother into a fanatic nationalist and dividing the family for ever. Sheltered in the garden and the house, Yuri is able to keep the Little People safe, and they do their best to comfort Yuri in return, until one day owing to food restrictions milk is in shorter supply...

3 Reviews

Slightly Smiling Face“A lovely little book with plenty of magic and whimsy, but it's definitely one that I wish I had discovered at a younger age. The ending felt quite rushed which was a shame, but overall an easy read that explores the familial pain and hardships endured during the second world war. A great addition to any children's library.”
Likable charactersEasy to readMagical settingUnsatisfying ending
Slightly Smiling Face“It was a delightful read, with each chapter boasting its own unique title—a touch I thoroughly enjoyed. The narrative weaves a captivating tale that reaffirms one's belief in fairytales, reminding readers to hold onto kindness and purity amidst adversity. Through the hardships of war, the characters show beautiful values and face challenges with resilience. However, the ending felt somewhat rushed, leaving me wanting a more satisfying conclusion. It’s still so cute and gives ghibli studio vibes 🤍✨”
Likable charactersBeautifully writtenEasy to readFast-pacedBeautiful settingMagical settingFeel goodHeartbreakingThought-provokingUnsatisfying ending
“Japanese stories about WWII will never fail to make me heartsick on some level, but this tale was lovely and gentle and magical.”

About Tomiko Inui

Born in Tokyo in 1924, Tomiko Inui joined a publishing house in 1950, where she began working as an editor, as well as writing books for children. She published many books over her long career, winning prizes along the way including the Mainishi Publishing Culture Award and the Akaitori Award for Children's Literature. The Secret of the Blue Glass is the first of her books to be translated into English. She died in 2002. 
Translated from the Japanese by Ginny Tapley Takemori.

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