* The "voice" The author confides her secrets to us, conveying the emotions that she felt as well as the events, capturing our interest and making us want to understand the "greatest secret" revealed at the end. What do you make of her greatest secret? Talk about what "the boundaries of reality are shifted" means to you. How does this relate to other Helen Cresswell stories that you know?
* Description and detail Throughout the story, description is grounded in the senses: how things looked, smelt, felt. Find examples and talk about them.
* Being a writer This is one of those rare stories that give us insight into the mind of a writer. Do you think similar experiences of "glimpsing other worlds" happen to other writers?
* Writing suggestions
If you have had a similar experience of shifting reality, recall and explore it in your mind. Drawing or doodling may help, or brainstorming words that occur to you. Try describing your experience to others, answering any questions they come up with.
Collections are interesting,especially secret collections. Often their worth lies more in the feelings of ownership and pride than in their real value. Try to convey the emotions associated with your collection.