Milly and Molly are two young girls who are good friends. They live in a town full of friendly characters and each have a cat. They are also known from the doll who inspired the books, and the animated TV series inspired by the books. Each book promotes a different life skill.
The books are larger format in a slipcase, with glossy covers and full colour illustrations throughout. The titles are interesting and somewhat intriguing to children, and the covers are very bright with large, clear pictures.
The stories are very basic, they're not challenging to follow, and for an early reader this can be good as it doesn't distract from the actual business of reading. Each story has it's own message, and encourages the child to think about that message, giving great starting points for discussion.
All of the books deal with real life, everyday situations, such as 'where do all the lost socks go?', while at the same time having their deeper theme. Book 1 'Milly And Molly's Monday' is about Milly and Molly's first day at school and how they become friends despite being different. The theme of book 1 is acceptance of difference.
Book 5 'Milly, Molly And Heidi Untidy' has a somewhat more obvious theme of tidiness, and how we lose our stuff and get frustrated because we haven't kept our things tidy (I know that feeling!). The characters are likeable because they're actually very real in a subtle way....
All of the Milly, Molly books are have clear text split into small chunks. There are some tricky words that an early reader may need help with, but they're infrequent, and the text is never daunting to the reader.
Throughout the books we are introduced to more characters who live nearby. They can be quite bizarre, such as Father Brownlie, who wears a full length Monk's robe, or amusing, such as Mr Limpy - exactly the kind of name children give to an adult they don't know the name of.
Book 9 'Milly, Molly And MacArthur' has a great message. It deals with adult literacy. Mr MacArthur is a regular Grandfather, he just never learnt to read. He feels no shame, he long ago accepted that's just how it is, and is surprised to be offered help from Milly and Molly. He gives it a try, and then we are shown a host of wonderful things he can do now that he can write.
The Milly, Molly books are not the greatest tales ever told. They are not fabulously exciting yarns to spark the imagination and immerse your child into a faraway world. They are however well-crafted stories where the message and the way your child reflects on it are incredibly useful. They normalise understanding, empathy and care for others. The illustrations are bold and bright, and the characters instantly memorable and diverse.
I like this series of books because it reinforces moral codes which I try to abide by. The theme behind Milly, Molly itself is "we may look different but we feel the same", and that's something I believe in very strongly. The world would be a far better place if everyone viewed everyone else as being a person who was really just the same as them inside.
The Milly, Molly books are published by Sweet Cherry Publishing, a publishing house who specialise in collections of children's books.Each book has approximately 24 pages and retails at £4.99.
We were sent our Milly, Molly books for review.