Molly and Pim and the Millions of Stars by Martine Murray

“And her face vanished in the crown of leaves that spread across the summer sky.”

Molly and Pim and the Millions of Stars by Martine Murray (Text Publishing, 2015) was shortlisted for last year’s CBCA Book of The Year Younger Readers. I borrowed it from the library back then. I love Martine Murray’s whimsical illustrations, but somehow Molly and Pim went back to the library without being read. It took me until now to borrow the audio book and read the story this time round. My recurring refrain – why did it take me so long??

Molly and Pim and the Millions of Stars by Martine Murray

“Have you lost your Mumma? When she’s right there in front of you, just changed into a tree and rooted to the ground.”

I love this picturesque tale of being different, but finding out that’s not such a bad thing, and along the way your mother turns into a tree. Listening to the audio book, I missed the illustrations. It wasn’t a problem until the last chapter – Molly’s notebook. I’ll re-borrow the paperback to flick through and remind myself of them. Kerry Armstrong’s narration is perfect but the author’s illustrations need to be seen.

Molly and her Mumma are hilarious. Their ongoing battle with the evil Grimshaws is rollicking fun. The neighbours are reminiscent of Roald Dahl’s The Twits, although a crowing rooster would send anyone into apoplexies. “Almost as golden as the dawn, and then it just seeps like a little song into my dreams” – my ass.

Claudette the cat and Maud the border collie are important companions when Molly loses her Mumma to treedom, which enamoured the story to me even more, but a jam-eating cat!? I guess Molly’s diet of chocolate balls is just as bad.

“Pim was so very thoughtful about things that weren’t quite certain and measurable.”