Skip to main content

Molly & Mae: A Friendship Journey by Danny Parker and Freya Blackwood


Molly & Mae: A Friendship Journey is a lovely, wonderful picture book in so many ways. Written by Danny Parker and illustrated by the marvelous Freya Blackwood, it shows children what friendship looks like and, possibly even better, it shows children what it looks like to have to be patient and wait. Without a device to entertain you...


Endpapers show the start and end of the day's long train journey, with the title page starting the story as Molly and her mom make their way to the platform where Mae and her mom are already waiting. As little kids do, the girls find each other and strike up a friendship. And, as little kids do, the girls crawl under and over and scoot in and around every corner of the train station as they wait to board.

Through illustrations and text, Molly & Mae follows the friends with signs in the train station and at the various stations they pass through indicating where the girls are in their "friendship journey." "Signal Failure" is the signage for the page where the girls, having grown bored and restless, have a fight and part ways. Other clever illustrations divide two-page spreads into three panels, horizontally, letting readers see more of the action, inside and out. As the train approaches a bridge, Molly, "took the words she shouldn't have said and hid them. Then she took the words she should have said and started to build a bridge." When the destination is reached, the sky is dark. The two friends, holding hands, jump off the train together.

Having worked with kids, grades 1 - 5, for three years now, I realize that we don't teach our kids what a real friendship looks like, with ups and downs, mistakes and forgiveness, bridges and destinations. And, as I said at the start of this review, a book that shows young audiences how two kids entertain themselves for hours at a time WITHOUT a device is invaluable!

I love Freya Blackwood's illustration style, which is fluid and filled with movement. With two small black dots for eyes, she manages to capture many emotions. And her kids are just so cute. Don't miss the amazing My Two Blankets, written by Irena Kobald, a poignant story of immigration from a child's perspective.

Source: Review Copy






Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff - Projects You Can Build For (and With) Kids! by Scott Bedford

On his personal website, Scott Bedforddescribes himself as an "Award Winning Online Creative Professional" working within the advertising and design industry. What is more interesting (and applicable here) is how hisWhat I Made website came to be. While sitting in a Starbucks with his restless young sons, trying to enjoy his latte, Bedford created something out of coffee stir sticks that ended up keeping his boys entertained, finishing his coffee in peace and sparking (re-sparking, really) his creative drive and reminding him of the "enormous joy gained from making things, even simple things, and that this joy is not the complexity or quality of the finished project but in the process of making itself. On Bedford'sWhat I Made website, he even shares Six Cool Coffee Shop Crafts for Kidsthat you can try out next time you want to enjoy your coffee and your kids are making that difficult. I've shared two below - be sure to check out the website and see the rest!

Be…

POP-UP: Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book, paper engineering by Ruth Wickings, illustrations by Frances Castle RL: All ages

POP-UP:  Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book with paper engineering by Ruth Wickings and illustrations by Frances Castle is THE COOLEST BOOK EVER!!!  I know that I haven't dedicated much time to pop-up books here, but they have always held a special place in my heart, and the phrase "paper engineering" is a favorite of mine. Although I didn't know what it was at the time, I did go through a paper engineering phase when I was ten or so. I would sneak off to the back of the classroom during independent work periods and go to town on the construction paper and glue and make these little free-standing dioramas. A huge fan of The Muppet Show (the original), I reconstructed the all-baby orchestra from an episode, drawing and coloring each baby and his/her instrument then gluing them onto a 3D orchestra section I had crafted out of brown construction paper.  I also made a 3D version of Snidely Whiplash throwing Nell off a cliff with Dudley Do-Right wa…

The Seeing Stick, written by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Daniela J Terrazini

The Seeing Stick is an original Chinese fairy tale written by the prolific (and prolifically award winning) Jane Yolen. First published in 1977 with illustrations by Remy Charlip (author and illustrator of the brilliantly fun picture book Fortunately and friend and muse to Brian Selznick, who asked him to pose as George Méliès while he was working on the Caldecott winning The Invention of Hugo CabretThe Seeing Stick was reissued with new illustrations by Daniela J. Terrazini in 2009. I have not seen Charlip's version, but Terrazini's is a beautiful work of art and the book itself is yet another magnificently packaged book published by Running Press, the house that brought us Steven Arntson's The Wikkeling, yet another superbly and uniquely packaged children's book with artwork by Terrazini. Interestingly, both The Wikkeling and The Seeing Stick were designed by Frances J Soo Ping Chow.

The Seeing Stick begins, "Once in the ancient walled citadel of Peking there l…