Wednesday, January 21, 2009
The String Family
I thought I'd write something a little different today. Scroll down for pictures, and of course as usual, any submissions are gratefully received.
When most people talk about books that got them into dollhouses, they talk about The Borrowers. I liked several other books as well. I'm not sure if they got me into dollhouses, or if I liked them because I was already inclining in that direction of interest.
The book series I want to talk about today is "The String Family" by Patricia Cleveland-Peck. I wish I could find a copy in a library in this city. When I have a little extra money I might try and find it online, someone must have it. I'm not sure how many books were in the series, I think there were at least three of them: The String Family, The String Family at Home and The String Family in Summer. There may have been more that I can't remember or find a mention of online.
I was constantly borrowing these books from my school library.
The String Family was about a family of people made from string. When they were 'alive' they were plaited into the shape of a person. When they were observed, they could unravel themselves. I think one of the characters had a job tying up vegetables in the garden. I know that for a while they lived in a potting shed, but I think there was also a time that they lived behind a couch. The daughter's name was Flax.
They had various adventures.
It was quite creative, and it caught my imagination. I was more interested in them than The Borrowers for a while, because The String Family was aimed at younger people than The Borrowers, and also... I thought that I didn't need to play Borrowers, because that would defeat the whole idea of them being real. Playing Borrowers involved me leaving stuff out for them to find and take away, or imagining them within the walls. The String Family, on the other hand, I felt in control of.
In the back of one of the books were instructions on how to make a String Person. So I made six of them, and they lived in one of my drawers. While cleaning my room the other day (pulling everything out of the room) I found them. And you bet I kept them. And I discovered that at the bottom of the drawer I'd chalked 'room divisions' into it. So, lines, dividing up the areas of their home. I made them seats out of corks with a few sewing pins in it as a back support, and the cushion was a scrap of fabric. They'd 'eat' seeds that I'd 'steal' from my pet rat's food bin.
I made them a chest of drawers from three matchboxes stuck together. The handles were beads on a wire, and I covered the chest of drawers with a piece of fabric.
The String Family could talk to one certain human girl.
I just managed to find an actual summary!
"The miniature world of the String family - Mr and Mrs String, their children, Hemp, Flax, Twine and baby Skein all come alive and share their adventures with Sally in Miss Floribunda's cottage in the country. Sally is the only human child to be introduced to the String family and friends..."
I'd love to see these books reprinted so that more children can find something else miniature related!
Once I even got my whole class to make string people.