Molly & Mae (Danny Parker, illus by Freya Blackwood, Little Hare)
Molly & Mae is a sweet picture book that follows two girls, Molly and Mae, on a train journey. The journey symbolises the path of friendship, winding its way through happiness, boredom, frustration and forgiveness. The book starts at the train station, where the girls play, then travels with them on their journey. They eventually fight, and must learn to make amends. Writer Danny Parker (author of 2014 CBCA-shortlisted title Parachute) has rendered a simple yet striking portrait of friendship here. Any reader familiar with illustrator Freya Blackwood’s work will enjoy Molly & Mae. The characters are very expressive and Blackwood has captured their youthful energy as well as their moods. Molly & Mae would suit parents looking for a book to explore themes of friendship and empathy. The story is also a strong metaphor for the relationship between sisters and would be a good family read. It could be used as a starting point for a discussion about friendship and family bonds. The depth of the ideas and the use of simple yet descriptive language makes this book suitable for adults to read to children aged three and up.
Amy Nicholls-Diver is a primary literacy editor from Melbourne