Teacup House: Meet the Twitches

Stevie’s life is about to change – from their city-centre flat, Stevie and her Mum are moving to the country, far from everything Stevie knows as ‘home’. To cheer Stevie up, her grandmother brings her a special present, a beautiful teacup-shaped house, complete with a family of toy rabbits called the Twitches. Little does Stevie know that the Twitches are very special toys that have a life of their own – but only when people aren’t watching. Arriving at the country cottage, a distracted Stevie loses Gabriel, one of the toy rabbits, in the garden. The narrative then alternates between the parallel efforts of Stevie and her mother and the rest of the Twitch family, to find and rescue Gabriel Twitch before the tiny rabbit falls prey to the giant dangers lurking in the cottage garden.

Aimed at young readers, this is an entertaining start to a promising new series. The pacing is good and the dual narratives are deftly handled in the relatively brief text. The illustrations are humorous and well placed throughout the text, and they work especially well in the depictions of the giant dangers Gabriel Twitch encounters while lost in the garden. The star of the story is Silver Twitch, reminiscent of Arrietty from Mary Norton’s The Borrowers, who uses all her inventiveness, physical dexterity and bravery to find and rescue her missing father. Silver is an alter-ego of Stevie – but Silver is a braver version, with more agency. Very enjoyable, with a brave heroine and a more reluctant, but ultimately brave co-heroine.