Picture this: a girl with fiery red hair, a look of adventure in her eyes and a side bag over her shoulder – the only difference is she’s so small she could fit into a jar!
Gafferty Sprout is a Smidgen. Smidgens look like humans, sound like humans and love eating chips like humans – if humans were only 10cm tall! Generations ago there were lots of them, but now Gafferty and her family are the only ones left.
Then Gafferty finds an old book that hints there might be other Smidgen tribes still alive after all. She has to find them! But soon Gafferty discovers she’s not the only one looking for the lost tribes, and that three inches of Smidgen hold more secrets than she ever imagined…
I loved this book! I don’t think I could’ve been more enchanted by this enormous adventure filled with tiny people. The concept is fresh and the characters reel you in from the get-go. My favourite element was the clever mix of magic and realism. This element was engaging through its fantastical features while still providing common ground through the characters’ different positions as children and siblings.
Author David O’Connell is a writer and illustrator from London. He works mostly with children’s books, writing for other illustrators or illustrating for other writers. He likes stories about magic and monsters!
The illustrations by Seb Burnett are captivating, capture the essence of O’Connell’s storytelling, and are ideal for The Smidgens’ demographic. For example, small items such as forks, pins, and teacups are used as visual cues for scale with The Smidgens. And accompanying each new chapter heading, there’s an illustration of tiny clothes hanging alongside fairy lights – a recurring symbol of the book’s content that demonstrates consistency for young readers.
The Smidgens is the first book in a funny, magical adventure series for readers aged 7+. If you loved Max and the Millions and The Borrowers, then this is the magical escape for you. I read this in one sitting and already want more! I can certainly envisage this book becoming a children’s classic alongside Roald Dahl and E.B. White.