Thursday, 17 April 2014

Mi and Museum City, by Linda Sarah

I think that ‘whimsical’ is the best way to describe the drawings by Linda Sarah in Mi and Museum City. They are quite small and dainty and detailed, with touches of humour in places and weirdness in others, and because of this there is just so much to look at on every page that I’m pretty sure you’d have to read the book a hundred times before you saw everything.

Mi lives in a city of museums. I hope that sounds exciting. But the museums in Mi’s city are all rather boring – like the Museum of Shhh and the Museum of Upsidedown But Still Boring. So Mi is pretty lonely. But one day he hears something he’s never heard before, a happy sound that he follows though the streets and across the river until he finds Yu. And Yu changes everything.

The pictures get more and more ridiculous and more and more crazy as the story develops, with more and more little details to pick out. The only downside is that a lot of what makes these teeny details are the annotations that go with them – annotations that small children wouldn’t be able to read or whose subtlety would be lost in the interpretation. So really, while there is a lot to see and the basic story is quite sweet, the funniest parts make this a picture book more for the grown-ups than the littlies. But it’s fun and sweet and different and made me go ‘ooo’ when I unpacked it from its box.

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