Review Blog

Jul 23 2015

Molly and Pim and the millions of stars by Martine Murray

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Text Publishing, 2015. ISBN 9781925095906
(Age: 9+) Recommended. Themes: Magic, Family Life, Medical Botany, Individuality, Confidence, Friendship. Molly is torn between her love for her eccentric mother who collects herbs and plants from the woods and creates magical potions and her desire to live a normal life like her best friend Ellen. She wants to eat muesli bars for recess not pomegranates and watch television instead of foraging in the woods for food. When their neighbours the nasty Grimshaws complain about their rooster crowing and blame them for stealing a large garden ornament, Molly's mother decides to conjure up a fast growing tree to block out their neighbours and bring harmony to their backyard.
When Molly's mother accidentally turns herself into the tree, Molly must learn to rely on herself for food and to look after Claudine the cat and her faithful dog Maude. She sleeps in the loving branches and her mother feeds her with magic, nourishing fruit. Molly needs the help of her strange and knowledgeable classmate Pim Wilder. He provides her with food and helps rig a basket on a pulley for Maude to sleep in the tree with Molly. He proves to be a true friend helping Molly protect the tree from Mr. Grimshaw's chainsaw. Molly learns to be resilient, courageous and the importance of being vulnerable.
There is a lyrical quality to this narrative, a cadence - soft and whimsical. Martine Murray's Molly and Pim and the millions of stars brings a sense of magic and wonder and is beautifully written. Readers need to accept the amazing transformation of the mother, it is an unusual undertaking. There is a timely caution included about the collecting of plants. Molly's notebook at the end is filled with interesting botanical facts.
Rhyllis Bignell

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