Shabby Sunday: The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks- 1982 -Book Review #VintageBooks #ShabbySunday #TheIndianInTheCupboard #ChildrensBooks

Shabby Sunday


I have a bunch of old vintage books and continue to acquire more. One of my plans when  starting this blog was to do a post every now and then sharing one of my cherished vintage books. I figured there might be other book bloggers out there with some vintage books, heirlooms, or maybe some old books from childhood that they might want to share.

This meme titled ‘Shabby Sunday’ is for those who would like to participate and share some of their old vintage books. Do you have some shabby books you’d like to share? If so, please feel free to participate as anyone can join. Feel free to use my meme image if you’d like to. If you decide to do this meme, please consider linking back to me in this post so that I can see the book you’re sharing.

Last time I shared:

What the Witch Left by Ruth Chew

Today’s Shabby Share:

The Indian in the Cupboard

by Lynne Reid Banks



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.


We found our copy of The Indian in the Cupboard at a used book sale. This middle-grade fantasy is a favorite from childhood, and I was so excited to find a vintage copy in good condition. Our copy is a paperback edition from 1982. It’s a fairly quick read around 181 pages. The illustrations in our copy are somewhat lackluster, but they do offer a visual of the characters, which is a plus.


In this story, a young boy named Omri receives a cupboard as a gift from his brother Gillon on his birthday. There’s no telling where the cupboard actually came from because Gillon found it in an alley, but it’s in a box and looks brand new. Omri decides he’ll use it to house some of his toys. After putting in a plastic Indian figure that his friend Patrick gave him, he locks the cupboard with his grandmother’s magical key. The next time he opens the cabinet, he finds Little Bear, a living, breathing, Iroquois Indian. He wants to keep this a secret; after all, who knows what people will do when they find out. The last thing Omri wants is to lose his cabinet or Little Bear. He reluctantly tells his friend Patrick about the magical powers of the cupboard, and Patrick demands that Omri let him use the cupboard to produce a cowboy for him. He wants a living toy of his own, and he won’t take no for an answer.


It’s no wonder this book is loved by so many children. It’s such a magical story and even offers some background history with these living characters traveling from back in time. What I love about this story is that there’s so much left open for the reader to fill in with their own imagination too.

There are multiple conflicts in the story. Patrick, Omri’s friend, isn’t the easiest to get along with. He doesn’t seem to grasp the danger in people finding out about the cupboard and the living figures. He’s demanding, and Omri soon learns that he made a mistake telling him about the cupboard and Little Bear. The other conflict in the story is between the two living characters the boys brought to life. Boone, Patrick’s cowboy figure, doesn’t get along with Little Bear at all. This makes the story interesting.

All the characters in the story were written well. We actually didn’t like Patrick for much of the book because he isn’t a very good friend at all. In fact, most of the problems in the book arise because of him, but the story wouldn’t be what it is without him. Omri’s a good boy and wants to protect Boone and Little Bear. He never wants to abuse the power of the cabinet and key either, or the power he has over these living characters. He sees them for what they are: living beings with unique personalities and feelings. At one point in the book Boone the cowboy is hurt, and Omri creates a doctor to heal him. It’s thought-provoking that Omri doesn’t just simply return them to their plastic forms with all the trouble it’s causing him. The secret’s getting out, and there’s no telling what’s in store for Omri.

The dialects of the characters were written perfectly, and it really brings the characters to life, making the story feel authentic. We used the audio along with the physical books a few times throughout, and the narrator did a nice job with it. There are a few strange pronunciations of words. 


Overall, we all enjoyed this story. It still remains a favorite today. It has a satisfying ending, but it still provokes you to move right on to the next story. We plan on moving right along to the next book.

Do keep in mind that there are some ethnic slurs used in the text, but the characters are from the 1800s. The first edition was originally published in the UK. My rating for this one is 5*****.

Find this book on Goodreads and Amazon:

  • ISBN: 0-380-60012-9
  • Reading Level: 6th Grade
  • Publisher : Avon Camelot; 1st edition (January 1, 1980)
  • Language : English

Other blogs who have participated in Shabby Sunday:

Nicky@ An Introverted Bookworm

Claire@ Brizzle Lass Books

Author Didi Oviatt

Sassy Brit@ Alternative-Read

Brittany @ PerfectlyTolerable

Shari @

Jennifer @

Lisa @ Way Too Fantasy

*Please stop by these blogs to check out all of their beautiful shabby shares!*

Thanks for checking out Shabby Sunday! Have you read this book? Do you have any shabby books to share? Feel free to share your thoughts below.

♥️ Mischenko

16 thoughts on “Shabby Sunday: The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks- 1982 -Book Review #VintageBooks #ShabbySunday #TheIndianInTheCupboard #ChildrensBooks

  1. starjustin

    Lots of imagination went into this one! I love the idea of the little characters coming alive and the thoughtful creation of the doctor to help.
    Sounds like a wonderful book for kids, and adults too. Great review Jen, thx for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, cool. I’m glad you enjoyed the books too. Yeah, I thought his character was a little redeemed by the end, but overall, he was just annoying. It’s going to be interesting finding out what happens in the second book because I don’t remember much about those. Thanks for your thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. OMG I have been meaning to read The Indian in the Cupboard for such a long time. I even think I have a copy somewhere. I’m going to look for it. And I hope it’s illustrated. I appreciate an occasional drawing to help the story along. And that’s great for kids, too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They actually made it into a movie! Yeah, it’s a childhood favorite, and the premise is probably every child’s dream. You’d probably enjoy it, Teri. It was fun reading it all over again with my kids. Thank you ❤️

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Pingback: June Wrap-up 2021: #BookReviews #Books #Music – ReadRantRock&Roll

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