The Borrowers Afloat

by Mary Norton

Other authorsBeth Krush (Illustrator), Joe Krush (Illustrator)
Paperback, 2003



Local notes

PB Nor


Young Readers Paperback (2003), Edition: First, 192 pages


The Borrowers, a family of miniature people, journey down a drain, live briefly in a teakettle, and are swept away in a flood before finding a new home. Sequel to "The Borrowers Afield."



Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

192 p.; 5 inches


0152047336 / 9780152047337



User reviews

LibraryThing member Coffeehag
This book continues the adventures of Pod, Homily, and Arrietty as they hide in nooks and crannies from the humans from whom they "borrow" everything they need. The family, along with their cousins, are horrified when they learn that the gamekeeper and his grandson are moving out; the Borrowers will have nothing to live on with no humans about! Pod decides it's time for the three of them to move out, but where to? The way out is impassable because of the grandson's pet ferret who is sniffing about the house, trying to get in. Somehow, as the cover art suggests, the three end up drifting down the river in a rusty tea kettle, but there are many more adventures to come before they find a place to settle down. This is an exciting book that keeps one wanting to read just one more chapter! It's hard to put down. I always enjoy reading of the creative uses the Borrowers find for the things they borrow from humans - even a half of a ping pong ball.… (more)
LibraryThing member fotenosfamily
The Borrowers Afloat has Homily, Pod, and Arriety when they get on a teapot.

Here’s what I liked about it: I liked the part that Homily was going, “What will become of us?” when she was adrift. I also liked the part when she was only with her petticoat.

Here’s what I don’t like about it. I don’t like the part when Mile Eye when was going to catch them on the fishing net.

-by Naomi Fotenos (~age 5)
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LibraryThing member Xleptodactylous
The third in The Borrowers series of books, The Borrowers Afloat sees Pod, Homily and Arrietty living in blighted conditions with their relatives in a run-down cottage that is soon to be left empty because Tom, Arrietty's Human friend, is going to live with his uncle. The Borrower family then make the decision to set out for the much-spoken of Little Fordham, a model village that lies at the end of a dangerous river. With the help of Spiller and his broken kettle, the Borrowers flee their weasel-haunted home and take the journey downstream, where nothing but mad gypsies and the unknown await them.

I don't think I've ever read a Borrower book, even though I am well-versed in the story, which, as an English person, isn't quite as inappropriate and weird as it sounds. Borrowers are similar to Lilliputians in size but that is where the similarity ends. As you can gather from their name, they "borrow" items from the Humans whose homes they inhabit, always keeping out of the way as much as possible. Although technically the Borrowers are stealing, it's always harmless and they're very endearing towards those they "borrow" from. This particular story was interesting because it drove the imagery I had of the Borrowers out of my mind (homely, frightened, comfortable under the floorboards) and basically dumped myself and the Borrowers in the outside world, where birds and rivers threaten their lives at every turn.

It's a lovely children's story that is easily accessible to an adult, though it has a more British-vibe to it because of our history with it. There have been numerous television and film adaptations and the thought of tiny people living under our floorboards as if there were mice is so ingrained in to us it's almost part of our culture.
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LibraryThing member satyridae
Installment #3 of the Borrowers saga was, for my money, the strongest. Spiller comes into his own here, and he's quite the taciturn but romantic hero. Arrietty may possibly learn a thing or two in this novel,though it's arguable, as she continues with the talking to humans at every opportunity. Pod's a resourceful if staid old gentleman. Homily drives me mad with her panics and her flighty girly taking on.… (more)
LibraryThing member JoClare
This is a delightful fantasy series, all about the adventures of a tiny family, just a few inches tall. Known as "Borrowers", they and their kind have learned to adapt to living secretly with "Human Beans" by "borrowing" all the items necessary for life.

When we last left the Clock family, they had finally found shelter; but when the human family moves away, the Clock family must find a new home too. With the help of Spiller, they begin the search in this third book, and take temporary shelter in an old tea-kettle, but when the rains come, the kettle floats away!
Many more adventures are in store for the tiny family before they find the object of their search, a tiny village built by a model railroad hobbiest, just their size.

Beautifully written and sure to please children of all ages.
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LibraryThing member antiquary
Third in the Borrowers series; the Borrow family (Pod, Homily and Arriety) reach their relatives (Hendreary and Lupy) and their family living in a gamekeeper's cottage, but then move on in search of a miniature town called Little Fordham. As before, very well imagined, but somehow downbeat-- they are almost immediately unhappy with Hendray and Lupy, for example.… (more)
LibraryThing member KarenLeeField
This is the third book in the series. The biggest let down was that the beginning of the second chapter was almost word for word of the last chapter of the previous book. I found it distracting and a bit annoying...and even alarming, to some degree, as I don’t agree that an author should do this. It’s fine to ‘remind’ the reader of what’s gone before, but to literally copy and paste such a large section of text is not acceptable (in my opinion). However, once I got passed that bit I was happy to settle back into the story of the Borrower family.

Spiller has become a main character now. He is only young but he is worldly and knows how to survive out of doors. The Clock family learn a lot from him. And he saves them time and time again—from one thing or another.

The point of view jumps from one person to another, which I’ve gotten used to, but I did notice in this book that the point of view was mainly with the mother, Homily. She can be a bit annoying, but we were also shown the strong side of her, which I found endearing so I didn’t mind seeing things through her eyes.

The adventures continue. The story and the characters are delightful. And I’m still enjoying the books.
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LibraryThing member SahilQaiser
This Was A Little Bit Dull In Comparison To Other Borrowers Books (1, 2).
But still Imagination Of Mary Norton Is Very Much Praisable... I Think ""She Herself Becomes A Borrower When It Comes To Write The Series""..
Well, There Wasn't Much Of Arriety's role In This Part. But Spiller Is Showing Some Progress.. Homily, Pod And Arriety are Now Liking Spiller Very Much .. And They Feel Much Secure When He's Around.. Spiller Is Helping Them.. He Gave Them The Kettle to live in after they left Heandriers, ..
Still Good A Four-Star Novel
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(170 ratings; 3.8)
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