The Indian in the Cupboard
|Author:||Lynne Reid Banks, Brock Cole|
It all starts with a birthday present Omri doesn’t even want—a small plastic Indian of no use to him at all. But when an old wooden cupboard and a special key bring the unusual toy to life, Omri’s Indian becomes his most important secret: precious, dangerous, wonderful, and above all, magical.
What could be better than a magic cupboard that turns small toys into living creatures? Omri’s big brother has no birthday present for him, so he gives Omri an old medicine cabinet he’s found. Although their mother supplies a key, the cabinet still doesn’t seem like much of a present. But when an exhausted Omri dumps a plastic toy Indian into the cabinet just before falling asleep, the magic begins. Turn the key once and the toy comes alive; turn it a second time and it’s an action figure again.
The Indian in the Cupboard is one of those rare books that is equally appealing to children and adults. The story of Omri and the Indian, Little Bear, is replete with subtle reminders of the responsibilities that accompany friendship and love. For kids, it’s a great yarn; for most parents, it’s also a reminder that Omri’s wrenching decision to send his toy back to its own world is not so different from the recognition of their children’s emerging independence.
The Indian in the Cupboard is also available in Spanish (La Llave Magica.) (The publisher recommends this book for children ages 9-12, although younger kids will enjoy hearing it read aloud.)
Young Hal Scardino stars as a sensitive boy who discovers a way to bring plastic toys to life in a locked cupboard. One of those toys, a 19th-century Iroquois warrior (played by actor Litefoot), was actually a real warrior now only several inches tall. A bond eventually develops between boy and warrior, and a six-shooting toy cowboy (David Keith). As with E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, The Indian in the Cupboard (which was written by E.T. scribe Melissa Mathison) is about a magical visitor connecting with a lonely child. But director Frank Oz…