Review: Molly & Mae

 

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When Molly and Mae meet at the train station, two journeys begin: a trip through the countryside and an expedition through the highs and lows of friendship. At first the way is scenic and smooth-and then something goes off track. Can Molly and Mae build a bridge of kindness back to each other? Capturing the playfulness, laughter, disagreements, and reconciliations familiar to all relationships, Molly and Maeis a loving portrayal of friendship in its sweetest form.

Friendships, especially the few truly great friendships that we are sometimes lucky enough to experience, rarely travel a smooth road. There are often bumps and detours, misunderstandings and disagreements. Friendships wax and wane, but the best friendships, the ones that can stand the test of time, are the ones in which all parties are willing to put in the work it takes to make a relationship thrive.

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This is true whether you are a grownup like me, or whether you are a rambunctious preschooler, like our charming, endearing protagonists, Molly and Mae. Molly and Mae meet on a train platform, while waiting for what seems like a lifetime to board a train with their mothers. The two immediately become, as Anne Shirley would say, bosom buddies, getting into all sorts of adorable mischief together.

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But the path of friendship rarely runs smooth, and Molly and Mae start to get on each other’s nerves, as so many friends do. Molly thinks Mae is too silly. Mae thinks Molly is too bossy. The two part ways, but without their friendship, the train journey becomes dark, and gloomy, and boring. Molly swallows her pride, and reaches out to mend their relationship, and Mae reaches back. Together, the two girls rebuild their friendship into something even more beautiful than it ever was before.

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Molly and Mae is a beautiful book to behold – the illustrations have a soft vintage quality that is utterly enchanting, and uses a clever framing device to capture the story’s narrative, comparing it to a train journey.

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Friendship stories are commonplace in picture books, which makes a great deal of sense, given the importance of friendship to children, and the intensity of youthful emotions. Molly & Mae recognizes that being a friend isn’t always easy, and that the very people you love can also be the ones that drive you the nuttiest! The best friendships aren’t the ones in which the friends never fight, they’re the ones in which friends know how to rebuild after a fight.

Beautifully illustrated, charming, and with a lovely understanding of preschool emotions and relationships, Molly & Mae would make a wonderful edition to any friendship picture book collection.

Molly & Mae

Hardcover, 32 pages
September 5, 2017 : HMH Books for Young Readers
Source: Raincoast Books

 

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2 Comments

  • Reply annettepimentel

    So sweet! I love the blurriness of the line in the illustrations. Fits well with a metaphorical story.

    January 24, 2018 at 5:31 pm
    • Reply Jane the Raincity Librarian

      Aren’t they gorgeous?!

      January 26, 2018 at 2:12 am

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