The Secret of the Blue Glass

Tomiko Inui
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Translated by Ginny Tapley Takemori


192 pp

Published 30/07/2015

ISBN 9781782690344

In a dusty library, in the quietest corner of a house in a Tokyo suburb, live the Little People: Fern and Balbo, Robin and Iris. Just a few inches high, sleeping in cigarette boxes and crafting shoes from old book jackets, they need only one thing from their Humans - a nightly glass of milk, served in a sparkling Blue Glass goblet, by a trusted young member of the Human family.

But when the Second World War comes to Japan, bringing a dangerous new kind of patriotism, both Humans and their beloved Little People face a world they could never before have imagined. It will take great love, bravery, and a rather loyal pigeon, to bring their unique families back together once more...

'The Secret of the Blue Glass is a tender and beautifully written story full of adventure, hardship and cultural revelations' Lancashire Evening Post

'A terrific story of courage, loyalty and love' Books for Keeps

'A glorious fantasy story... utterly captivating' Read it Daddy

'Has a sensibility and a poetry of its own' Independent on Sunday

'Hurrah once again for Pushkin's wonderful mission to bring fresh translations of foreign classics to a generation of English speaking readers. First published in Japan in 1959, think the Borrowers, under the shadow of WW2' Angels & Urchins

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. She was also runner-up in 1964 for the Hans Christian Andersen prize. The Secret of the Blue Glass is the first of her books to be translated into English. She died in 2002.