________________ CM . . . . Volume III Number 19 . . . . May 23, 1997

cover Toots and the Upside Down House.

Carol Hughes. Illustrated by J. Garett Sheldrew, Richard Moore, Anthony Stacchi, John Stevenson.
London, England: Bloomsbury Publishing, 1996.
192 pp., paper, $16.00.
ISBN 0-679-88653-2.

Subject Headings:
Fathers and daughter-Fiction.

Grades 1 - 4 / Ages 6 - 9.
Review by Donna Doyle.

**** /4


"But there was no creature. Then the lamp began to sway and Toots spotted the little creature swinging on a cobweb. The creature hooked her legs around one of the branches, climbed up, twirled a loop of cobweb above her head and then threw it over the nearest branch. Then she swung out across the air.

It took a moment to realize the most peculiar thing of all- it wasn't just the fact that it was odd to have a tiny person wandering across your ceiling and scattering cobwebs over your lamp, it was that all of this was happening upside down."

Toots is a good story, well told. There's just Toots, her Dad and her teddy bear, Fred. Her Mom has died, and her Dad is totally absorbed in his stamp collection. Most often the only one Toots has to talk to is Fred. The lonely little girl is well-portrayed. Toots find adventure by joining the tiny creatures who live above the ceiling in her house. Good fairies, evil sprites and goblins give Toots an experience she won't soon forget. She makes friends with Olive, a fifth year cadet fairy who has a big heart but problems earning her wings. The two join forces to defeat the goblins and sprites who want to freeze all the pipes in the house. The well-described world above the ceiling is spooky and exciting. Toots shows she can be daring and brave and that, when someone needs her, she's able to help. As Toots returns to the real world below, she finds a way to help herself and finally gets through to her father who has been just as lost as she was. The story has fun, a little fear but not too much, friendship, adventure and a heartwarming ending.

Highly recommended.

Donna Doyle is a writer, former journalist, current video producer living in Arichat, Nova Scotia.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © 1997 the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364