Mimi, Welcome a New Toddler Book Series

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Mimi Loves to Mimic by Yih-Fen Chou, illustrated by Chih Yuan Chen

Mimi Says No by Yih-Fen Chou, illustrated by Chih Yuan Chen

These two books capture the essence of being a toddler and the ups and downs of their days.

In Mimi Loves to Mimic, Mimi copies whatever the grownups in her family are doing.  She throws things away, puts on lipstick, plays the trumpet, makes “soup” and even shushes people.  When Mimi kisses her mother after being kissed, the other adults share some kisses too.  Just like Mimi.

In Mimi Says No, Mimi does the classic toddler trick of saying no to absolutely everything.  She wants to dress herself, pour her own milk, walk alone, and slide down the slide on her own.  But when she ends up getting hurt a little, she finds her own way to get a hug from her mother.

Chou’s words are brief and simple.  Yet they have a wonderful rhythm to them, refrains that repeat, and a steady structure that toddler will enjoy.  Chen’s art may have readers wondering just what kind of creature Mimi is, but that only lasts for moments before the story pulls you in.  The art is friendly, clear and very child friendly.  Children will see themselves in the picture books, but they are not here to teach lessons.  Rather they are a celebration of toddlerhood itself.

These books have been translated into 14 languages from their original Chinese. Their appeal is universal and will surely find a place in American toddler’s reading.  Appropriate for ages 2-3.

Reviewed from copies received from Independent Publishers Group.

Binky to the Rescue: A Second Silly Adventure


Binky to the Rescue by Ashley Spires

This sequel to Binky the Space Cat continues Binky’s adventures as a cat who believes he lives in outer space.  The graphic novel format is an ideal way to showcase the wry humor of the story.  In this latest adventure, Binky is busily battling his enemies, the insects that he considers aliens.  But when he pushes too hard on a window screen, he falls out the window and into the backyard, or outer space!  Luckily, Binky thinks quickly and finds a oxygen source (the garden hose) and ties himself down securely to keep from floating off (on a garden gnome.)  He takes notes on alien activity and as he is doing that notices that his co-pilot Ted has also fallen into outer space.  But before he can rescue Ted, he is attacked by wasps and then taken inside by his human.  Now Binky must launch a brave rescue of Ted by re-entering the vastness of outer space.

Spires’ illustrations are very funny, showing the truth of Binky’s situation clearly to the reader.  Much of the humor is physical and vaudevillian, playing out in the illustrations themselves.  The use of graphic novel format will make this series one that children, especially reluctant readers, will pick up and enjoy.  Even better, Spires is not afraid of using some fart humor every now and then.  Perfect for the target age.

The text is just as funny as the illustrations, taking a wonderful tone that will immediately have readers connecting it with science fiction films.  Nicely, the narration plays entirely into Binky’s fantasy, so readers themselves have to get the joke of the books.  And they definitely will.

A great sequel to the first book, this book should be added to elementary school graphic novel collections and children’s collections in public libraries.  Appropriate for ages 6-9.

Reviewed from copy received from Kids Can Press.

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Vote in the Trailee Awards!

If you love videos that are trailers for children’s and teen books, then The Trailee Awards is the competition for you!  The nominees have been narrowed by a panel of judges to 24 finalists.

The finalists are broken into six categories with four videos competing in each section.  The sections are:

Publisher/Author created for elementary readers

Publisher/Author created for secondary readers

Adult (18+) created for elementary readers

Adult (18+) created for secondary readers

Student created for elementary readers

Student created for secondary readers


Take some time, watch the videos and cast your vote!