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At first, Omri is unimpressed with the plastic Indian toy he is given for his birthday. But when he puts it in his old cupboard and turns the key, something extraordinary happens that will change Omri's life for ever. For Little Bull, the Iroquois Indian brave, comes to life... At first, Omri is unimpressed with the plastic Indian toy he is given for his birthday. But when he puts it in his old cupboard and turns the key, something extraordinary happens that will change Omri's life for ever. For Little Bull, the Iroquois Indian brave, comes to life...


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At first, Omri is unimpressed with the plastic Indian toy he is given for his birthday. But when he puts it in his old cupboard and turns the key, something extraordinary happens that will change Omri's life for ever. For Little Bull, the Iroquois Indian brave, comes to life... At first, Omri is unimpressed with the plastic Indian toy he is given for his birthday. But when he puts it in his old cupboard and turns the key, something extraordinary happens that will change Omri's life for ever. For Little Bull, the Iroquois Indian brave, comes to life...

30 review for O Indio no Armario

  1. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Apparently many people feel that this book is full of racist stereotypes. I can see where they're coming from, starting with the outdated term Indian, as opposed to Native American (or Iroquois, in this case). Not only that, but the Indian in the book, Little Bear, speaks in very broken English, and he has a seemingly simplistic, stereotypical outlook. However...it's hard to be mad at a book for being racist when it portrays the Indian as the wisest, bravest, most hard-working character in the b Apparently many people feel that this book is full of racist stereotypes. I can see where they're coming from, starting with the outdated term Indian, as opposed to Native American (or Iroquois, in this case). Not only that, but the Indian in the book, Little Bear, speaks in very broken English, and he has a seemingly simplistic, stereotypical outlook. However...it's hard to be mad at a book for being racist when it portrays the Indian as the wisest, bravest, most hard-working character in the book. Yes, in the beginning Omri doesn't realize that Little Bear is a PERSON. But the book is partly about Omri coming to see that Little Bear IS a person, and that to have him as a toy or a possession is completely inappropriate. Little Bear has more self-respect in his 2.75 inch body than the vast majority of full-sized people. He wastes no time on self-pity and instead focuses on how he can create a life in which he can take care of himself in the very strange circumstances in which he finds himself. He wants to hunt for his own food, build his own home, etc. I think it's obvious to Omri, as well as to the reader, that Little Bear has a very strong system of values that include intelligence, skill, self-reliance, courage, and hard work, among other things. It's hard for me to see how having an Indian as a toy is racist, when there is also a (caucasian) cowboy, a (caucasian) English soldier, and others who are in the same position. And perhaps it's stereotypical to have the Indian and the cowboy dislike and fight each other...but is it racist to have the Indian show himself to be smarter, braver, stronger, more skilled, more stoic and even more hygienic at every turn? Little Bear even teaches Omri (and the reader) that an Indian isn't an Indian, and that as an Iroquois brave, to use a teepee, especially one with Algonquin markings, is unthinkable. As for the broken English...Little Bear is the only character in the book for whom English is not his first language. I actually liked the way he spoke, and was amazed at his way of cutting right to the heart of the matter with a very limited vocabulary. I could see how Little Bear's way of speaking might seem like baby talk, which would infantilize him, but I didn't take it that way. Instead I was impressed at the way he had learned enough English to get his meaning across and meet his needs. Little Bear's way of speaking did not make him seem any less intelligent, mature, or sophisticated to me. In fact, Little Bear was portrayed as such a paragon for much of the book that one could almost find that racist -- as if Little Bear was more than human -- but he does have some weaknesses that he displays occasionally, such as his stubbornness and quickness to judge. So while Little Bear has many admirable qualities, he is not saintly. I'm sure that there are dated, inaccurate and stereotypical elements in this book. Since I'm not Native American, I'm certainly not in the best position to judge. But if this book contributed to my image of Native Americans at all, it was in a positive way. I do think that this book's heart was in the right place, and that the author approached the Iroquois character with respect and the intention to portray him very positively. Overall I loved the book for it's clever, original, exciting plot, it's complex characterization, it's high-quality writing, and the messages it sends about what qualities are to be admired in people.

  2. 4 out of 5

    The Shayne-Train

    This book, oh man. This was the book I used to read and re-read and re-re-read as a kid. That book that the cliche reader goes through so many times that he wears out the cheap mass-market paperback and has to beg his parents to buy him another copy from the Scholastic book order forms from school ('membah dem?). Now I get to share it with my daughter, and rediscover how grand an adventure it truly is. OH! And anyone who hasn't read it, and is scanning down through the reviews to see if it is rig This book, oh man. This was the book I used to read and re-read and re-re-read as a kid. That book that the cliche reader goes through so many times that he wears out the cheap mass-market paperback and has to beg his parents to buy him another copy from the Scholastic book order forms from school ('membah dem?). Now I get to share it with my daughter, and rediscover how grand an adventure it truly is. OH! And anyone who hasn't read it, and is scanning down through the reviews to see if it is right for you and/or your children, let me say this: any of the reviewers complaining about racism don't understand the context of racism. "The Indian speaks like a stereotypical Indian!" That's because English is a second, or more likely a fourth or fifth, language for him. His dialog is in a stereotypical Indian voice because that's how YOU are reading it. Little Bull simply doesn't speak English all that well. He's speaking the way anyone would speak broken English, be it a Mexican or Swede or Iroquois or Martian. English is a hard language, man! Back off. There are a few racial slurs from a cowboy character, and a few casual drops of the term 'Red Indian.' But those are kind of the point. This story shows Little Bull as brave, shrewd, caring, and most of all human. It shows the reader (as it showed me when I was young) that the slurs are from stupidity or fear. It helped me see these words should not define the people they're directed at, but rather the people they issue from. Wow, went off on a tangent, there, huh? Sorry. Bottom line: this is a beautiful story, full of magic and acceptance and wonder.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Karina

    Okay so this is so cute and full of imagination! Wouldn't you as a kid in Elementary school love to have a magical cupboard that brought all your "plas-stikk" toys to life? Omri thought the same thing until so much trouble and lies got into his conscience. The bossy Indian, the crybaby cowboy, a demanding friend, a loose rat in the house.... So much fun to read. Felt like a kid all over again. I think this would be a good book for kids who hate reading. Okay so this is so cute and full of imagination! Wouldn't you as a kid in Elementary school love to have a magical cupboard that brought all your "plas-stikk" toys to life? Omri thought the same thing until so much trouble and lies got into his conscience. The bossy Indian, the crybaby cowboy, a demanding friend, a loose rat in the house.... So much fun to read. Felt like a kid all over again. I think this would be a good book for kids who hate reading.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Amber

    Omri is a young boy who receives a cupboard from his best friend Patrick. When he uses his Grandmother's old key with a red satin ribbon in the cupboard with his Indian, something magical begins to happen in the cupboard. His Indian magically comes to life. Can Omri handle the magic of bringing his toys to life? Read on and find out for yourself. This was a pretty good read. I had seen the film when I was younger but didn't know it was based on a book so when I borrowed it from my church's librar Omri is a young boy who receives a cupboard from his best friend Patrick. When he uses his Grandmother's old key with a red satin ribbon in the cupboard with his Indian, something magical begins to happen in the cupboard. His Indian magically comes to life. Can Omri handle the magic of bringing his toys to life? Read on and find out for yourself. This was a pretty good read. I had seen the film when I was younger but didn't know it was based on a book so when I borrowed it from my church's library, I decided to read it for myself. If you like stories about magic, toys coming to life, and more then definitely check this book out for yourself. This book is available at your local library and wherever books are sold.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kacey Powell

    I read this as a kid and I just re-read it last week b/c I'm teaching it to my 4th graders. I love it for the vocabulary (wielded, lithely, haughtily) that I get to expose them to. I love it for the well-defined characters. Yesterday my students wrote from the perspective of Little Bear and they loved it. (Me cold. Who this big man? What want?) And I love it for the fantastical story. Great book for kids and fun to read again as an adult. I read this as a kid and I just re-read it last week b/c I'm teaching it to my 4th graders. I love it for the vocabulary (wielded, lithely, haughtily) that I get to expose them to. I love it for the well-defined characters. Yesterday my students wrote from the perspective of Little Bear and they loved it. (Me cold. Who this big man? What want?) And I love it for the fantastical story. Great book for kids and fun to read again as an adult.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Alaina

    Found this book under my sisters bed.. because she's a hoarder and shit.. so I was so freaking happy to read this book! I remember the movie (because I also own that shit too) but for some reason I have NEVER read this book! I really need to sit down and reconsider life changes.. so that I actually read a book before it becomes a movie! MAYBE ONE DAY GUYS! The Indian in the Cupboard brought back so many childhood memories. I loved this movie. I thought it was the shit. So diving into the book was Found this book under my sisters bed.. because she's a hoarder and shit.. so I was so freaking happy to read this book! I remember the movie (because I also own that shit too) but for some reason I have NEVER read this book! I really need to sit down and reconsider life changes.. so that I actually read a book before it becomes a movie! MAYBE ONE DAY GUYS! The Indian in the Cupboard brought back so many childhood memories. I loved this movie. I thought it was the shit. So diving into the book was just amazing to me. I really wanted to see if I would love it more, if not equally. Okay, kind of cool yet creepy to visualize toys coming to life. Now these toys sound awesome.. not that creepy doll that murders people. Dolls scare the shit out of me.. those moving eyes and shit. BUT these toys and like the toy story movies.. I could totally handle them alive. I'd freak out but then enjoy the hell out of it. Now before I wrote this review.. I definitely saw people claiming there was racism in this book. I didn't see it that way at all. I loved Little Bull and I enjoyed his broken English. English is hard enough as it is for someone who doesn't speak it as a first language. Just like when you learn spanish, french, german, or whatever language you want to learn.. it's hard as fuck and people are probably judging you for speaking weird or wrong when it comes first nature to them. Little Bull and the cowboy are just like I remember! I wish I could remember the cowboy's name right now but I honestly can't! Yes, the cowboy does use some racial slurs.. but I assumed it was out of fear. If people don't know about something they usually assume the worst of it. Besides the little characters, I really enjoyed Omri! This book made me so happy to see all of these characters and read the story line all over again. It definitely makes me want to re-watch the movie just for fun! Overall, really enjoyed diving back into a childhood favorite. I'm mad that it took me so freaking long to read this book. I will probably reread it over and over again!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    Golly, I must have read this book a hundred times. There was just something so magical, so appealing about it! I hope kids today are still reading, I think it's timeless. Reread 2018: Really interesting to read this aloud as an adult, and aloud to my kids. I was worried that it would be racist, and . . . sort of? But mostly in the way the Little Bear talks. He's new to speaking English, so it's a little short and abrupt, and I think she took it too far, but not to the point where he was a "grunti Golly, I must have read this book a hundred times. There was just something so magical, so appealing about it! I hope kids today are still reading, I think it's timeless. Reread 2018: Really interesting to read this aloud as an adult, and aloud to my kids. I was worried that it would be racist, and . . . sort of? But mostly in the way the Little Bear talks. He's new to speaking English, so it's a little short and abrupt, and I think she took it too far, but not to the point where he was a "grunting savage." I was actually impressed with how much is debunked in this, like Little Bear not having seen a teepee before (he's Iroquois) and the fact that "blood brothers" is a white construct to make the Natives "behave." It was interesting to see, and what my kids picked up on as well, was that Little Bear was kind of a spoiled brat, who had a lot of change come over him being in a situation where he wasn't the proud chief's son. Omri changed, and so did his friend Patrick, as they became more empathetic toward these real people who depended on them. So, to sum up: It still works. Also, it's on the 2018-2019 Battle of the Books curriculum.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Morgan

    What a racist, dull, unimaginative book. Full of stereotypes and negative images, this book should be taught only to teach young people how NOT to write books. I only read this book for a grad class and would never recommend it to anyone. First, the writing is cliched and boring. Secondly, the way Lynne Reid Banks has portrayed the Indian (apparently, Little Bear is Iroquois) is racist and offensive. Little Bear only speaks in grunts and incomplete sentences, and the cowboy Boone wants only to k What a racist, dull, unimaginative book. Full of stereotypes and negative images, this book should be taught only to teach young people how NOT to write books. I only read this book for a grad class and would never recommend it to anyone. First, the writing is cliched and boring. Secondly, the way Lynne Reid Banks has portrayed the Indian (apparently, Little Bear is Iroquois) is racist and offensive. Little Bear only speaks in grunts and incomplete sentences, and the cowboy Boone wants only to kill the dirty, smelly Injun. Omri, the little boy who is given Little Bear as a present (one he doesn't want--again, this is a terrible book), refuses at first to gather the materials for Little Bear to make a longhouse--which is traditionally the lodging of an Iroquois, not a tepee. This is only one example of how Banks has made her book a metaphor for how ignorant white people have subjugated and marginalized the Indian populations of America by refusing to understand, listen to, or accommodate Indian heritage. No one should willingly pick up this book.

  9. 5 out of 5

    James

    I am not too sure why I chose to read ‘The Indian in the Cupboard’ by Lynne Reid Banks – other than it came with a pile of other books recently ‘donated’ to me by a colleague. Whilst it is a book I was aware of (perhaps from the film adaptation) it wasn’t one that had got anywhere near my ‘to read’ list. Neither did I realise that ‘The Indian in the Cupboard’ was written by the same author who produced ‘The L-Shaped Room’ – a comparatively ground breaking novel of 1960. ‘The L-Shaped Room’ was a I am not too sure why I chose to read ‘The Indian in the Cupboard’ by Lynne Reid Banks – other than it came with a pile of other books recently ‘donated’ to me by a colleague. Whilst it is a book I was aware of (perhaps from the film adaptation) it wasn’t one that had got anywhere near my ‘to read’ list. Neither did I realise that ‘The Indian in the Cupboard’ was written by the same author who produced ‘The L-Shaped Room’ – a comparatively ground breaking novel of 1960. ‘The L-Shaped Room’ was also adapted for the cinema and highlighted the stigma of being an unmarried mother at that time (perhaps I should have read that book instead….). Clearly ‘The Indian in the Cupboard’ is quite a different prospect and written 20 years after ‘The L-Shaped Room’ – this is another story in which toys ‘come to life’, only this time the story considers the reality of such a situation. Apparently ‘The Indian in the Cupboard’ was somewhat of a success and a minor phenomenon following its publication – whilst at the same time attracting almost instantaneous and significant criticism. On the one hand the novel is a pretty straightforward story of the magic of toys coming to life and the special time that is childhood; on the other though it is at least to some extent a perpetuation of offensive racial stereotyping – the ‘Indian’ (in itself an outdated / incorrect term) ‘Little Bull’ and ‘Indians’ collectively being referred to as ‘primitive, savage, cruel and uncivilized’, seemingly taking great delight in collecting scalps, ‘with fierce black eyes’ and always apparently quick to act with violence, almost throughout. Conversely, it could be argued or rationalised on the basis that ‘The Indian in the Cupboard’ attempts at least in part to undermine racial stereotyping and misconceptions; in that it does at least debunk some myths and provides an explanation of how the taking of scalps (for instance) came about – i.e. a practice propagated/instigated by white ‘settlers’ in exchange for guns, whisky, money. In addition, Little Bull is depicted also as being creative and an accomplished builder. So on the one hand, what we have is actually quite a good story of a boy, his friend, the magic of toys and childhood – culminating in a somewhat poignant, if a little predictable ending; on the other – an undeniably racist portrayal of a Native American Indian / Iroquois, which is where the book ultimately falls down. On balance – what needs to be considered here is the ‘The Indian in the Cupboard’ is a product of the 1980’s and not perhaps the 1930’s, where such racial stereotyping (whilst not excusable) could have been viewed at least as a product of its time – ultimately a shame. ‘The Indian in the Cupboard’ feels as though it is vainly striving to do the right thing and portray Little Bull as a positive and accomplished character in a ‘fun’ yet acceptable manner – unfortunately for the author, it fails in this endeavour. Little Bull is nothing more than a stereotypical caricature determined entirely by his ethnicity and culture. Yes, this is a children’s book, but that doesn’t mean it has to be based on stereotypes – the influence of children’s books on their readers cannot and should not ever be underestimated.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Shanna Gonzalez

    When Omri, a young English boy, puts a toy Indian in a medicine cabinet and turns a special key, the Indian magically comes to life. But the Indian is not merely a toy come to life, but a real person with a history who has been transported into Omri’s time, in miniature form. Complications arise when Omri’s thoughtless friend puts his toy cowboy in the cupboard to see if they will fight. The two boys then endanger the small people by taking them to school. Unlike other fantasies which create an e When Omri, a young English boy, puts a toy Indian in a medicine cabinet and turns a special key, the Indian magically comes to life. But the Indian is not merely a toy come to life, but a real person with a history who has been transported into Omri’s time, in miniature form. Complications arise when Omri’s thoughtless friend puts his toy cowboy in the cupboard to see if they will fight. The two boys then endanger the small people by taking them to school. Unlike other fantasies which create an entire magical world, the cupboard is the only magical element in this story. Because of its grounding in the everyday, this fantasy has a particular charm, as readers might imagine stumbling across just this kind of magic in their own world. Omri and his friend are ordinary children, and Omri must struggle with having taken on so much responsibility for other human beings. In the end he realizes it isn’t his place to have such power over their lives, and he uses the cupboard to send them back to their own time. As a Native American person, I am reflexively suspicious of fiction about Indians, especially in this genre, because it is easy for non-Indians to caricature people whose culture they can’t really identify with. But while Banks’ development of the Indian’s character might be a little thin, it’s no thinner than that of other characters. Banks provides enough history of the Five Civilized Tribes, and their role in the French and Indian Wars to demonstrate Little Bull’s humanity, and it is on this basis that Omri comes to respect him. This is an entertaining, appealing story, in which an immature young man learns to take responsibility and show respect for others’ welfare. Parents and teachers ought to be aware, however, that the book contains some mild profanity and several racial epithets. There are two abysmal sequels available, but I recommend only the original story.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    What a fantastic re-read of a childhood classic. Flipping open this book again, the most surprising discovery was that Lynn Reid Banks was a British author! I had no idea, and I don't remember being 10 years old and realizing that, although the English turns of phrase are apparent upon re-read. I absolutely loved this. It's magical, it's imaginative, it's well-written, and the characters are unforgettable. Banks draws a perfect Little Bear and a perfect Omri, particularly in their dialogue and t What a fantastic re-read of a childhood classic. Flipping open this book again, the most surprising discovery was that Lynn Reid Banks was a British author! I had no idea, and I don't remember being 10 years old and realizing that, although the English turns of phrase are apparent upon re-read. I absolutely loved this. It's magical, it's imaginative, it's well-written, and the characters are unforgettable. Banks draws a perfect Little Bear and a perfect Omri, particularly in their dialogue and their relationship with one another; in fact, all of the characters are outstandingly portrayed.

  12. 4 out of 5

    D.M. Dutcher

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. What struck me about it was not that it was racist, or dated (it didn't feel so as much as you'd think,) but that it is a deconstruction of the idea that magical toys would be fun to have, and possibly of imagination as well. Omri gets a cupboard, a plastic indian, and a key for his birthday. When he puts the indian in the cupboard and locks him up, the indian comes to life. It seems anything locked in there becomes a conduit for people from the past. This leads to problems though, as the Indian What struck me about it was not that it was racist, or dated (it didn't feel so as much as you'd think,) but that it is a deconstruction of the idea that magical toys would be fun to have, and possibly of imagination as well. Omri gets a cupboard, a plastic indian, and a key for his birthday. When he puts the indian in the cupboard and locks him up, the indian comes to life. It seems anything locked in there becomes a conduit for people from the past. This leads to problems though, as the Indian is demanding many things, and Omri's friend Patrick wants a toy of his own to become alive. It's an all right book in terms of writing and craft. While the book does have some elements of racism, it tends to be more unfortunate than premeditated, like The Scarlet Pimpernel. Some may also be our overreacting: the whole "me talks" thing gets pegged as racism a bit too much considering how hard it is for anyone not raised in multiple languages at birth to become as fluent in a second tongue as even a native small child. But there is an edge that might tweak the reader. My main issue with it was that it has a very odd message. The point of the book seems to be to deconstruct the idea of the magical talking toy: these are real people with real emotions, needs, and desires. Little Bear is self-centered, violent, often in awe, at times magnaminous, but he is very much not a toy, and the point is made later in the book this transformation can easily have dire consequences. Omri does not have fun with him as opposed to having to be forced to care for him and deal with him, and the toys actually wound the boys a couple of times. Omri even starts to resent Little Bear's constant demands for meat, weapons, women, and power. This is a pretty profound deconstruction of the magical toy idea. Most of these books carry the idea of responsibility. In the movie version, you get this: the only line I really remember is Little Bear saying to Omri "You should not play with magic you do not understand." Magical toy stories usually involve some form of mischief from a child's toys (as an allusion to the mischief the child himself creates) which the child needs to stop as he acts in loco parentis. When the mischief is ended, and the toys behave, things return to normal. The child learns a bit of responsibility while reveling in the toy's actions vicariously. What's odd in this book is that it goes beyond it, and seems to attack the idea of imbuing the toys with life in the first place. When Omri tries to bring an indian chief to life, the man dies from a heart attack due to his age and shock. There are often realistic concerns about the little toy-men; whether or not they can be hurt, how they feel, and the worries and cares they endure. By focusing not just on their mischief, but their emotional states, doubt is cast on whether or not imbuing them with life is good at all, or even evil. The book ends on Omri's refusal to play with toys with Patrick. There may be echoes of growing up in this, or in that childish imagination can be dangerous to maintain. That negative aspect troubled me a bit, because the age range of the book is a little young for this. I think that's why it only became "okay" for me, as the ideas are a bit more adult than I suspected.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Joanne G.

    My thought, when reading The Indian in the Cupboard, was that I wish I'd read it as a child to fully enjoy it. I was surprised when I got ready to write this review to see from Goodreads that the book was published in 1980! I would have pegged the story as something written in the '50s or '60s. I realize I've been conditioned by society's sensitivities, view of political correctness, and critical spirit of looking at everything as though it contains hidden hatred; I had to fight my initial inter My thought, when reading The Indian in the Cupboard, was that I wish I'd read it as a child to fully enjoy it. I was surprised when I got ready to write this review to see from Goodreads that the book was published in 1980! I would have pegged the story as something written in the '50s or '60s. I realize I've been conditioned by society's sensitivities, view of political correctness, and critical spirit of looking at everything as though it contains hidden hatred; I had to fight my initial internal distaste over the stereotypical depiction of the Indian. However, I had to admit that the cowboy received far worse treatment! I put aside my critiques and squelched my inner squirming and found much to like about the story. Lynne Reid Banks did an excellent job conveying the worry and angst the young boy felt for for his little toy come to life. I appreciate how the author had the boy evolve from seeing the Indian as a plaything to realizing that, regardless of his size, the Indian was a person with needs, feelings, and a right to live his life.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Reid

    Hmmm. I am not sure where to put this in terms of "stars." I just reread it. I loved it as a child. I remember learning about Iroquois Indians and Longhouses and being fascinated. I loved the magical adventure when a toy comes to life. For those that do not know, young Omri locks his plastic toy American Indian in the cupboard and the Indian comes to life! His friend does the same to his plastic cowboy, and the result is disastrous. As an adult, I'm incredibly uncomfortable with the basic errors Hmmm. I am not sure where to put this in terms of "stars." I just reread it. I loved it as a child. I remember learning about Iroquois Indians and Longhouses and being fascinated. I loved the magical adventure when a toy comes to life. For those that do not know, young Omri locks his plastic toy American Indian in the cupboard and the Indian comes to life! His friend does the same to his plastic cowboy, and the result is disastrous. As an adult, I'm incredibly uncomfortable with the basic errors (false and negative stereotypes) in this book. Looking at it 30 years after it was first published (and after finishing a nonfiction book about the first Americans), I certainly see it as inappropriate and dated. I'm not just trying to be "politically correct" although that is a term that could be applied to me I suppose. It's somewhat disturbing to read the inaccuracies and the inherent racism in the boys comments...and in the author's suggestions from those comments. All this is somewhat sad for me to say, since the book is well paced, magical, and simply fun from my WASPy perspective in the twenty-first century. It's too bad its not one I can readily recommend today. If I were American Indian, I would not have found it "fun." And that to me is a good reason I shouldn't be encouraging my son to read it. What do you think? To put it another way, at what point is racism in semi-classic literature no longer okay? I ask because there were likewise a few racist comments in The Secret Garden where I recently reread, and I've encountered it before in other older classics for children, like Kipling and so forth. But it surprised me how racist this book was, and it's only thirty years old. At any rate, if I do hand it to my son, it will be with lots of discussion about the attitudes and inaccuracies found therein. Discussion on my blog

  15. 5 out of 5

    Tortla

    Meh. I don't remember this book much. I guess it was okay. Meh. I don't remember this book much. I guess it was okay.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Traci

    Interesting book. Another of the Battle of the Books titles that I'm working my way through. I've never read it before, nor have I seen the movie. I love the fantastical element of the story, even though some of it feels dated (which makes sense, seeing as how it was written in 1980, almost 40 years ago!). What surprised me was the level of maturity shown by Omri, as he quickly realizes that his "Indian" isn't a living toy, but an actual human being - just very small. And that Little Bear obviou Interesting book. Another of the Battle of the Books titles that I'm working my way through. I've never read it before, nor have I seen the movie. I love the fantastical element of the story, even though some of it feels dated (which makes sense, seeing as how it was written in 1980, almost 40 years ago!). What surprised me was the level of maturity shown by Omri, as he quickly realizes that his "Indian" isn't a living toy, but an actual human being - just very small. And that Little Bear obviously was a real person from another time and place, that somehow his spirit (or something) has inhabited the now-alive Indian toy. It was also interesting to see Omri's friend, Patrick, treat it all as a game at first, then come to the same realizations that Omri has...that Little Bear and the cowboy, Boone, are not toys to be played with but real men. I was very aware of how stereotypical the portrayals of Little Bear and Boone were, but it also got me to think about how the author handled it. Omri wants to build Little Bear a teepee because "Indians live in teepees". Little Bear quickly rejects that idea, explaining that his tribe does NOT live in those dwellings, that they live in longhouses, trying to dispel the very stereotypes that Omri believes. It doesn't come across that way at first...it's only after I've been thinking about that I realized it. And Boone - he's supposed to be a hard-ridin', fast-talkin' cowboy who refuses to bathe, but he also cries because he's lonely and scared. Not the stereotypical cowboy by any means. Not a perfect way to deal with the stereotypes, but I really do think the author was trying to address them. Overall, a good book.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Abby

    This book was one of my favorites as a kid and I hadn't read it since then, so I decided it was time for another go. And it was just as charming as ever. What's more fun than toys coming to life? I'm convinced this book is where Toy Story got the idea from. Plus Little Bear and Boone make the greatest pair, like Buzz Lightyear and Woody. This book was one of my favorites as a kid and I hadn't read it since then, so I decided it was time for another go. And it was just as charming as ever. What's more fun than toys coming to life? I'm convinced this book is where Toy Story got the idea from. Plus Little Bear and Boone make the greatest pair, like Buzz Lightyear and Woody.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn in FL

    Read years ago and then saw the movie. I thought it was excellent, though my brain injury prevents me from remembering much about it. I think I would read it again.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Abigail

    I’m all for good literature that stimulates the reader’s imagination. So it’s maybe a little surprising that I wasn’t overly fond of the classic Indian in the Cupboard. Omri is disappointed with his birthday gift. Frankly, a plastic Indian doesn’t hold much appeal to him. But everything changes when he gives the Indian a home inside a medicine cabinet and turns what appears to be a magic key. The Indian comes alive as Little Bull, a young brave with an exciting history. Omri is delighted with the I’m all for good literature that stimulates the reader’s imagination. So it’s maybe a little surprising that I wasn’t overly fond of the classic Indian in the Cupboard. Omri is disappointed with his birthday gift. Frankly, a plastic Indian doesn’t hold much appeal to him. But everything changes when he gives the Indian a home inside a medicine cabinet and turns what appears to be a magic key. The Indian comes alive as Little Bull, a young brave with an exciting history. Omri is delighted with the new friendship the two strike up, and begins spending his free time gazing into the medicine cabinet and listening to Little Bull’s thrilling stories. Things only get more intriguing when Omri adds a toy cowboy to the cabinet, curious to see if a cowboy/Indian fight will ensue. It can’t be denied that Ms. Banks’ work encourages the imagination. What child wouldn’t find the story of a toy that comes to life fascinating? Yet somehow, Indian in the Cupbard brought fairy tales and the wild west together in an odd combination that never quite got me hooked. The entirely make believe storyline didn’t feel genuine or real enough to pull me in as other imaginative tales (the Narnia series, for example) did. That said, Indian in the Cupboard a fun, light read and it’s entertained numerous children over the years. I suppose it’s possible that my taste is flawed. My blog: www.oursureanchor.com

  20. 5 out of 5

    Claire

    A proctoring-during-STAR-testing reread. Pros: action-packed, good characterization of Omri and Patrick, moves quickly and has pretty good writing. Keeps kids instantly engaged and reading. Even as a critical, discomfited reader I was racing through and waiting to see what would happen next (I didn't remember it from my first read over twenty years ago). Cons: "problematic" is an understatement when it comes the ridiculous stereotypes *combined* with the whole "he's a real person, this has some A proctoring-during-STAR-testing reread. Pros: action-packed, good characterization of Omri and Patrick, moves quickly and has pretty good writing. Keeps kids instantly engaged and reading. Even as a critical, discomfited reader I was racing through and waiting to see what would happen next (I didn't remember it from my first read over twenty years ago). Cons: "problematic" is an understatement when it comes the ridiculous stereotypes *combined* with the whole "he's a real person, this has some basis in fact" things like the longhouse vs. teepee problem. Needless to say, I cringed during all the Little Bear parts. I guess my policy will be to recommend The Porcupine Year to follow this one whenever I hear of a teacher doing it as a classroom read-aloud!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    4.5! This was fun and exciting and everything I was hoping it'd be! I first heard about this book after spending a rainy afternoon at the cottage this past July. The place we were renting from had not one but TWO VCR's and a heck-ton of VHS's...yes, I was in my glory. The nostalgia was high. Amongst the cassettes was the movie The Indian in the Cupboard. Admittedly I had never watched or heard of it before but it was my husband's favorite movie growing up. So we nestled into the sofa with some bla 4.5! This was fun and exciting and everything I was hoping it'd be! I first heard about this book after spending a rainy afternoon at the cottage this past July. The place we were renting from had not one but TWO VCR's and a heck-ton of VHS's...yes, I was in my glory. The nostalgia was high. Amongst the cassettes was the movie The Indian in the Cupboard. Admittedly I had never watched or heard of it before but it was my husband's favorite movie growing up. So we nestled into the sofa with some blankets and popcorn and enjoyed the take-back to days in the 90s. Obviously once I discovered the movie was based off a book I just had to get it. And I'm so happy I did! Defientently not something I typically read but even though I didn't grow up with the movie/story, it still had the feel of childhood wonder and intrigue and it was just a blast to read about. Really excited to move on to the rest of the books because I loved Omri and Little Bear so stinking much!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    I'm always a little nervous to go back and re-read books that I used to love. I'm one of 5 kids, so individual storytime did not happen in my house. Instead, mom gathered all 5 of us around, decked out in our jammies with wet hair from baths, and read to us all from the same book, young and old alike, before we went to bed. This series was a popular go-to for those storytimes--we read them over and over again. I'm not sure if I love this book so much because it's simply divine (if a bit overwrou I'm always a little nervous to go back and re-read books that I used to love. I'm one of 5 kids, so individual storytime did not happen in my house. Instead, mom gathered all 5 of us around, decked out in our jammies with wet hair from baths, and read to us all from the same book, young and old alike, before we went to bed. This series was a popular go-to for those storytimes--we read them over and over again. I'm not sure if I love this book so much because it's simply divine (if a bit overwrought in a few places), or because it reminds me of a time when my family was at its best. Either way, I'm relieved to find it still endearing and lovable. Popsugar Reading Challenge 2019: A book that makes you nostalgic

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

    This was better than expected! I did this as an audiobook and the narration was great! I loved how she did the voice of Little Bull. It added a lot of personality to the story. I remember vaguely seeing the movie years ago and was unimpressed. But this I actually liked! The moral perplexity of real vs plastic. The care needed for these small people (and lengths he goes to take care for his Indian and give him what he wants...). Little Bull is a bossy little Indian who frustrated me at times. Nev This was better than expected! I did this as an audiobook and the narration was great! I loved how she did the voice of Little Bull. It added a lot of personality to the story. I remember vaguely seeing the movie years ago and was unimpressed. But this I actually liked! The moral perplexity of real vs plastic. The care needed for these small people (and lengths he goes to take care for his Indian and give him what he wants...). Little Bull is a bossy little Indian who frustrated me at times. Never did make up my mind about the cowboy though. Somewhere between like and okay. I loved the scene where he realized what he is standing on when first brought to life!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Madeline

    What a great book! I know a 6 year old boy would really enjoy this. I think I'll buy him a copy. What a great book! I know a 6 year old boy would really enjoy this. I think I'll buy him a copy.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ensiform

    Omri (the three brothers in this book all have bizarre names) is gifted an old medicine cabinet, and then a key handed down from his great-grandmother in Italy. When he locks plastic toys in the cupboard, they come to life! The "Indian" of the title is Little Bear, the son of an Iroquois chief, who proves to be a demanding and imposing presence, despite his tiny size. Omri learns quickly that Little Bear is a living, breathing person with his own language, desires, and pride, not just a talking Omri (the three brothers in this book all have bizarre names) is gifted an old medicine cabinet, and then a key handed down from his great-grandmother in Italy. When he locks plastic toys in the cupboard, they come to life! The "Indian" of the title is Little Bear, the son of an Iroquois chief, who proves to be a demanding and imposing presence, despite his tiny size. Omri learns quickly that Little Bear is a living, breathing person with his own language, desires, and pride, not just a talking plaything. Omri tries to make life good for the chief's son by bringing him meat, fire, a horse, materials for his longhouse, and Coca-Cola. However, his troubles are multiplied when Omri's friend Patrick, less sensible and respectful than Omri, learns the secret and demands to bring a cowboy to life for himself. I read this way back in 1982 or so, when I was a kid. A couple of scenes have stayed with me all these years, which shows the deep impression this wonderfully imaginative book can make. I started to read this to my class, which would have been a great tie-in to our Native American study that focuses in part on Iroquois culture, but unfortunately the coronavirus put an abrupt end to it. Too bad, because this is a terrific book. For its time, it is eminently respectful of the Native American experience. Although Little Bear does speak English in a sort of truncated pigeon, this seems fairly reasonable. He disabuses Omri of several stereotypes, such as living in a teepee, saying "How," and the concept of blood brothers as being inherent to all Indians. He behaves with dignity and courage, and Omri learns quite a lot about cultural relativism (hearing Little Bear has taken thirty scalps, Omri reads up a bit and decides, "the English and French were probably no better, killing each other like mad as often as they could"). There is a lot of humor, as well, especially once the cowboy enters the picture. A highly imaginative and delightful book. Apparently four sequels followed.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    This is one of my absolute favorite books of all time. I loved it as a kid and I love it now. I hadn't read it in more than a decade, but I pulled it out to read aloud to my kids, and they loved it too, especially my daughters. Omri's friend Patrick gives him a little plastic Indian for his birthday. Omri's brother gives him an old cupboard he found in the alley. Omri's mother finds him an old, old key that fits the lock on the cupboard, and he's delighted because now he has a place to put things This is one of my absolute favorite books of all time. I loved it as a kid and I love it now. I hadn't read it in more than a decade, but I pulled it out to read aloud to my kids, and they loved it too, especially my daughters. Omri's friend Patrick gives him a little plastic Indian for his birthday. Omri's brother gives him an old cupboard he found in the alley. Omri's mother finds him an old, old key that fits the lock on the cupboard, and he's delighted because now he has a place to put things. Don't we all love places to put things? I know I do. Anyway, Omri puts his plastic Indian in the cupboard and locks it and goes to sleep. And when he wakes up, he discovers that the Indian has come alive. But is still only a couple inches tall. But totally alive. His name is Little Bear, and he is the most demanding, fierce, bossy tiny person you've ever heard of. But also endearingly brave. My favorite parts of this book are all about Omri scrambling to provide things Little Bear needs. A tiny campfire, bark for a longhouse, food, and so on. I love miniature things, which is a big part of why books like this and The Borrowers appeal to me. And why I love playing with my kids' Calico Critters with them and keep buying them more for their birthdays. Anyway, when Omri tells Patrick about this magical event, Patrick wants a tiny person too and sticks a plastic cowboy in the cupboard. And the cowboy, Billy "Boohoo" Boone, is my other favorite thing about this story. He's cantankerous and belligerent and softhearted. I love everything about this book, and I've read three of the sequels too, though I didn't love them as much.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Emily Valenti

    When Omri’s friend Peter gives him a small second-hand plastic Red Indian for his Birthday he is not overwhelmed. He is however pleased with the present from his brother, an old cupboard found in the alley, because he likes ‘the fun of keeping things in’ cupboards and manages to find a fancy old key for it in his mother’s box. Yet his initial satisfaction is nothing compared to the excitement and wonder that follows when Omri places the Indian in the cupboard, turns the old key and finds out jus When Omri’s friend Peter gives him a small second-hand plastic Red Indian for his Birthday he is not overwhelmed. He is however pleased with the present from his brother, an old cupboard found in the alley, because he likes ‘the fun of keeping things in’ cupboards and manages to find a fancy old key for it in his mother’s box. Yet his initial satisfaction is nothing compared to the excitement and wonder that follows when Omri places the Indian in the cupboard, turns the old key and finds out just how special this little Indian really is. Suddenly no longer the autonomous plastic figure but he is a real live Indian of the Iroquois tribe with a large appetite and a very strong will. What follows is a chaotic series of events that has Omri going from shock to joy to confusion to blind panic. What an enchanting concept to have your toys turn into real live people, something that I often longed for as a child. I can picture children reading this book secretly in torchlight under a bed-sheet den to evoke the magic of the story. Lynne Reid Banks’ writing, so vivid, enables you to go into the world that she creates and is sure to ignite the imaginations of her young readers. With its compelling narrative and accessible subject matter the ‘Indian in the Cupboard’ is a joyful read for any child starting to read independently, progressing onto the subsequent books in the series. It would be a lovely book to promote creative writing in a Y3/Y4 class. As a basis for miniature clay modelling. For Y5/Y6 it could be used to accompany a History lesson, looking at different time periods/cultures or to stimulate discussion on friendships, responsibility and prejudice.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Emy

    The Indian in the Cupboard is a very moving story about a boy named Omri who discovers he has a magical cupboard that can bring plastic toys to life. In some places, the text seems a little racist, dealing mainly with stereotypes. The most noticeable occurance of this is Little Bull, who speaks in broken 'tv' English. e.g. "Me cold." However, it is not just the Indian (Native American) who is portrayed like this, but the cowboy as well. At first, this stereotypical way of portraying the character The Indian in the Cupboard is a very moving story about a boy named Omri who discovers he has a magical cupboard that can bring plastic toys to life. In some places, the text seems a little racist, dealing mainly with stereotypes. The most noticeable occurance of this is Little Bull, who speaks in broken 'tv' English. e.g. "Me cold." However, it is not just the Indian (Native American) who is portrayed like this, but the cowboy as well. At first, this stereotypical way of portraying the characters jars a little, but you get used to it. Putting any accusations of racism aside, this is a moving story. Omri must learn that these plastic figures he has brought to life are no longer just toys, but people. He must deal with the realities of finding them food, and keeping them a secret though he wants to boast to the world. As well, he must learn to deal with the realities of death, and how to mend a friendship that is tested as it has never been tested before. This is not just a simple children's story. It holds important lessons about how we treat our fellow human beings, though the message is somewhat undermined by its clumsy racial stereotypes. The Indian in the Cupboard is the first in a series, but it works well as a standalone novel. I probably will not read the others in the series, but I enjoyed this book on its own merits.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ana

    While I can understand that the intent of the book was to entertain and educate young people about Native Americans, I just can't shake the feeling that this book is too creepy to enjoy unless you have nostalgia for it and know very little about Native peoples history. Making a member of a different race a toy that belongs to a white child is problematic and just because Omri is nice to his come-to-life-toy doesn't make it okay to minimize the conflict between the settlers and the natives. Also While I can understand that the intent of the book was to entertain and educate young people about Native Americans, I just can't shake the feeling that this book is too creepy to enjoy unless you have nostalgia for it and know very little about Native peoples history. Making a member of a different race a toy that belongs to a white child is problematic and just because Omri is nice to his come-to-life-toy doesn't make it okay to minimize the conflict between the settlers and the natives. Also the writing was unimpressive and the plot was bland so this book was a chore to read.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Amy H

    The second installment in the mommy-Will summer movie-book club! Really cute book. Will loved it and it was fun to read to him. Movie was also great. But Because of Winn Dixie is still my favorite (our first club selection).

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