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Mini Mia and Her Darling Uncle

by Pija Lindenbaum
Translated by Elisabeth Kallick Dyssegaard

Published by U.S. edition: R&S Books, 2007
40 pages
ISBN: 9129667348

Ages 3-6

Ella stays with her grandmother and her uncles while her parents take a trip to Miami, and what Ella most looks forward to during this visit is spending time with her Uncle Tommy. He’s unlike his boringly predictable brothers because he travels most of the time rather than working in an office and he eats sushi instead of meatloaf. But, most of all, he knows how to keep a small child entertained: dying her hair a different color every day, going to listen to music, and people-watching at their favorite café. And even though he doesn’t enjoy playing soccer himself, Uncle Tommy recognizes Ella’s skills and nicknames her “Mini Mia” after Mia Hamm. Life seems perfect to Ella until Tommy’s new friend, Angus, starts joining them wherever they go. Ella doesn’t like sharing her Uncle Tommy and she doesn’t particularly like Angus. She expresses her displeasure in childlike ways: pouring sugar on his shoes and pulling his towel into the swimming pool. Ella is determined not to like Angus, until she learns they both have a passion for playing soccer. While it will be clear to adult readers that Uncle Tommy and his friend Angus are a gay couple, nothing explicit is ever mentioned in the text and young readers are likely to see the two only through Ella’s eyes. Lindenbaum’s trademark humor comes through in both her understated text and comic illustrations. (KTH) ©2007 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

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