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MINI MIA AND HER DARLING UNCLE by Pija Lindenbaum Kirkus Star


by Pija Lindenbaum & illustrated by Pija Lindenbaum & translated by Elisabeth Kallick Dyssegaard

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-91-29-66734-9
Publisher: R&S/Farrar, Straus & Giroux

Swedish tot Ella is staying with her Grandma and three boring uncles (they probably work in offices), while her parents visit Miami, but she’s looking forward to spending her days with her funky Uncle Tommy who lives alone and travels a lot. Tommy calls her Mini Mia after her favorite soccer star Mia Hamm. Ella and Tommy have great times at CD shops and coffee houses or just staying home playing dead. He even dyes her hair a different color everyday if she wants. Then one day Fergus shows up at Tommy’s apartment. Ella doesn’t want to share Tommy; she thinks Fergus should go back to Scotland and makes her displeasure known. However, when Uncle Tommy feels sick one afternoon, Fergus proves his worth and his soccer skills. Pitch-perfect translation by Dyssegaard and Linbenbaum’s own playfully energetic and expressive watercolors make this tale of jealousy, learning to share and intergenerational friendship a real gem. Adults may read more into Tommy and Fergus’s relationship, but kids will just see themselves in Ella. (Picture book. 4-8)