Review Blog

Jul 12 2017

When Mu meets Min by Shen Shixi

cover image

Starfish Bay, 2017. ISBN 9781760360344
(Age: 5-7) When Mu meets Min, by Shen Shixi is a tale narrated by a Chinese farmer, and tells us a story about unlikely friends, a cat and a dog. Min the overly friendly puppy, joins the family first and when a plague of rats comes to the farm and he cannot get rid of them, Min the cat joins the family too.
As the story goes on the two young animals get along and become friends (much to the neighbour's surprise), they play games and sleep next to each other, however as they grow older it is not meant to be.
They drift apart and all of a sudden they are fighting every day instead of playing.
Children reading this story will be able to find links to their life or other stories they know, lending this book to be one that teaches a lesson as well as being a story.
The biggest lesson occurs when Mu falls into a water tank and cannot get out. Although they do not get along, Min goes and finds help to rescue Mu and save the cat from drowning.
Shen Shixi writes this story with the underlying messages (which are not specifically spelt out) that even though they may not be best friends anymore, the two can still help each other out and that they can be civil and friendly. I also think it shows a different kind of friendship that most children would not usually identify with.
The pictures are attractive, show movement around the page and also some comical aspects.
I read this to Mr 6 and Miss 3, both enjoyed the story, however Mr. 6 did not pick up on the 'lesson' without prompting and needed discussion to understand where Shixi was taking the story.
A positive story for 5-7 year olds.
Lauren Fountain

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