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The Secret of the Blue Glass

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  105 ratings  ·  23 reviews
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 Peop ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published January 26th 2016 by Pushkin Children's Books (first published January 1st 1967)
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Ιωάννα Μπαμπέτα
Ανοίγοντας το βιβλίο, το πρώτο που θα δούμε είναι ένας πρόλογος της Μαρίας Τοπάλη. Διαβάζοντάς τον, ένιωσα μια γλυκιά συγκίνηση. Αναμνήσεις από τα παιδικά μου χρόνια με κατέκλεισαν. Γιατί όπως και η Μαρία Τοπάλη, έτσι κι εγώ πρωτοδιάβασα αυτό το βιβλίο ως παιδί της Ε’ Δημοτικού. Και δεν το διάβασα μόνο μια φορά αλλά πολλές. Έτσι γινόταν τότε με τα βιβλία που είχαμε. Δεν ήταν πολλά γι’ αυτό τα διαβάζαμε και τα ξαναδιαβάζαμε μέχρι που νιώθαμε πια πως είμαστε κι εμείς μέσα στην ιστορία.
«Το γαλάζιο
Prior to reading The Secret of the Blue Glass all I knew about it was that it is a Japanese children's fantasy novel about miniature people from the 1960s. I was basically expecting a Japanese version of The Borrowers. The Secret of the Blue Glass is certainly similar to The Borrowers in many ways, but at its heart it is about the experience of everyday Japanese citizens during WWII. This is no cutesy tale. Characters have thoughts like, "Our life as students is just a stay of execution - just u ...more
図書館屋 Sharon the Librarian
I really loved this book. There are a lot of Japanese stories about how Japanese suffered during WWII. This one is different. The kobito (little people) are foreigners who were brought back to Japan during a time of peace and only drink milk. But milk is very hard to get during the rationing of war-time. How does this Japanese family fulfill its obligation to keep the little people alive?

There is a French translation - but no English. I even started one myself. Somone, please publish a good Eng
Jan 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
MA-GNI-FIQUE !!!!!! Je manque d'adjectifs pour dire à quel point ce livre est grandiose, génial, merveilleux, formidable, magique,…
Une histoire unique mêlant magie, amitié, guerre entre une famille d'Hommes et de Petits-Hommes.
Classique japonais pour enfants.
Feb 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
I heard about this book thanks to the Global Literature in Libraries inaugural translated young adult literature award. The Secret of the Blue Glass was one of the submissions in the first year, and was chosen for the shortlist of ten titles. This does not mean the book is contemporary to these times, just that the translation of Tomiko Inui's book by Ginny Tapley Takemori was published in the last three years. The book was actually originally published in 1959.

The Secret of the Blue Glass is fa
Edd Simmons
The secret of the Blue Glass is a little fun book to read. Historical, entertaining, fantasizing, and for young adults.
Sometimes you wonder why we need milk? To grow big and tall and strong . . . This is about the story of a little people housing in a families library. The book takes place during wartime Japan, and the two families have to leave their safe haven or “escape”. The book has a lot of rituals in it like the bringing of milk in which the little people love, or the love of chocolate.
Global Literature in Libraries Initiative
Shortlisted for the 2019 Global Literature in Libraries Initiative
Translated Young Adult Literature Award

For more information, visit our website!
#translation #Japanese #WW2
Lovely story about "little people" who live with a family pre war and then are evacuated during WW2 to the country side. The deprivations of war and divided loyalties form the backstory to the tale of these foreign little people, a pigeon and a sickly teen.
Engrossing read from a perspective seldom found in western literature for children
Dec 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really loved this story.
It was whimsical and told from a POV during a time period that I haven't read much from before. If you enjoy the story of the borrowers then I really believe you will enjoy this.
Merridy Pugh
Feb 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: would-read-again
Enchanting – a beautiful translation from the Japanese. Even the book design is beautiful with illustrative details inside, making it a pleasure to hold in the hands and turn the pages.
Amy Tasukada
oh my this blurb is such a live, at least the one on me copy. A fun "adventure" HA HA ...more
Jul 09, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
L'autrice ammette senza mezzi termini di essersi ispirata alla narrativa folkloristica occidentale e di aver preso spunto da essa per scrivere questo suo racconto - il quale, al giorno d'oggi, sarebbe definito plagio.
Leggendolo infatti pare di avere sottomano una copia rivisitata degli Sgraffignoli di Mary Norton (e delle loro sgradevolissime personalità, mi tocca ricordare), seppure qui c'è un'elaborazione maggiore, che però non è servita affatto a farmi apprezzare la storia.

Difatti qui, al con
Viki Holmes
Dec 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What an odd but endearing book: a sort of Japanese version of The Borrowers set in wartime Japan, and reflecting all the changes to daily life that wartime brought, in a family looking after a quietly magical family of inch high people fed daily on milk from a special blue glass cup. A gentle curiosity, providing as many insights into life during that time as it does fantastical escapades. ...more
Apr 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a fascinating story, which winds together the fate of some small humans (Lilliputians? Borrowers?) and the fate of ordinary Japanese during the thoughtful, thought-provoking and memorable.
Bruce Gargoyle
I received a digital copy of this title from the publisher via Netgalley.

Ten Second Synopsis:
The Moriyama family has been entrusted with the safekeeping of a family of Little People down the generations. When war comes to Tokyo, will little Yuri Moriyama still be able to fulfil the promise of her family and the blue goblet?

This is a bewitching and moving account of one family’s – and in particular, one young girl’s – attempt to care for others in a desperate situation. I really loved discovering
Rachel Stansel
Oct 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this sweet, touching story about a Japanese family tasked with caring for a family of Little People. The Little People have lived in a small, safe corner of the family library where the have been cared for by various young members of the Moriyama family. It is during the time that Yuri is responsible for their daily feeding of milk, always brought in a blue glass goblet, that things change. Japan is caught up in WWII and the Moriyama family, who lives in Tokyo, finds itself split. Yuki's ...more
I am a fan of The Borrowers, so I looked forward to this story of tiny people in Japan.

Unfortunately, while it is an interesting portrait of war-time Japan, it has a slow and meandering plot, with relatively flat characters and somewhat inexplicable parameters. We hear, for instance, that the small people must be given milk and only milk, but that does not appear to be true later on. Also, there is a timeframe that must be met before they can return to their large people and that is oddly arbit
Kris McCracken
I picked this one up from the library knowing that it was a translation of a loved Japanese novel, but not that it was one written for younger readers. That said, I enjoyed the opening few chapters so ploughed on.

Ultimately, this is a lovely little story of a little girl (and those around her) overcoming hardship in a time of crisis and deprivation. Set in Japan during the tail-end of World War Two, and featuring a family of elvish little people (yes, I know), it does a good job of making its po
Romi (likes books)
Jun 27, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: classic
I adore this cover to pieces, and when I started I thought I'd adore the inside to pieces, too. I didn't, unfortunately. For a time I thought I'd be completely carried by it, the writing was gorgeous and the story was unusual and had a definite unique tone to it, but then it seemed to gradually lose the elements of gorgeousness and really just grew to be boring. It is fairly distinct to The Borrowers, but the idea is really familiar and for me wasn't unique enough to carry the story and sustain ...more
Ms. Yingling
This looked intriguing, and I'm always on the prowl for books actually written in other countries, but this book's original publication date of 1967 dates it terribly. A detached tone, as well as a slow pace and odd involvement of fairies, make this one that would not do well with my current middle school readers. ...more
Jacinta Hin
Mar 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
A lovely book with a compelling story. Beautifully written and translated. I could not put it away, once I started reading. Although written for children, adults will enjoy this magical book too (I did). Also a strong message against war and about the power of purity of heart.
T.J. Burns
I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Alexandra Ameladioti
rated it it was amazing
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Colin Cameron
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Lisa Knapp
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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 Secre ...more

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