Kids in Museums Book Club: ‘Mi and Museum City’

February 5, 2016

Kids in Museums

We are all big bookworms at our house, even little #MuseumBaby loves to grab a book and flick through the pages. For a while now, we’ve been collecting children’s books set in museums. I already had a couple before the boys were born, but since they have come along the collection has grown – over 20 books and counting! When I mention our collection to other parents, I quite often get asked which books I would recommend, so I thought it would be fun to start a little series about them here on the blog. Helping me to review the books, will be my trusty sidekick and museogeek in training, #MuseumBoy (aged 5 1/4)!

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I let #MuseumBoy chose which book I should post about first, and unsurprisingly – since it has been a favourite bedtime read for the past week or two – he chose ‘Mi and Museum City‘ by Linda Sarah. Not only is it a favourite, but it’s also one of the most recent additions to our collection, discovered by chance via an Amazon ‘if you liked this, you might also like this’ recommendation.

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The main protagonist of the book is a creature called Mi, who lives in a tiny blue hut in the middle of the River Weary, in the middle of Museum City. His house is the only building in the city that is not a museum. Sounds great, doesn’t it? However, the museums don’t sound like the kind of museums that would be fun to visit: Museum of Shhh!, Museum of Dull, Museum of One Million Completely Boring Things, to name just a few. No wonder Mi feels “a little bored, a little sad and a lot lonely”. But one day, he hears a beautiful sound and goes on a journey to find out where it comes from. His journey leads him to Yu. Together they drop pebbles (Mi’s favourite thing), make up new songs (Yu’s favourite thing), and try to convince Mayor Boouf to let them open some new museums that are more fun and enjoyable. Will they succeed in their quest and change Museum City for the better?

Mi and Museum City is a brilliant, if slightly bonkers story. But it’s the illustrations and attentions to detail that really make this book. Almost every page is crammed full of things to discover. I was caught out a little the first time we read this at bedtime. Usually #MuseumBoy is allowed to choose one long or two short books to read, and at first glance this looked like a quick read. But while the story only takes about 10 minutes to read aloud, you’ll find yourself spending at least half an hour pouring over the illustrations and reading out all the museum names, as well as the sound effects and little speech bubbles that fill up the empty spaces. The story alone introduces around 70 museums, add to that the museum illustrations on the cover, the detailed map on the inside cover, and an A-Z pull out poster of Museum City, and you have well over 100 wild and wonderful museums to discover. This book has given us hours of enjoyment, and I can not recommend it highly enough.

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Here’s what #MuseumBoy said about the book:

What do you think about the book?
“I like love it!”
What does ‘like love’ mean?
“It’s when you like AND love something. It’s even more than love.”

What was your favourite bit of the book?
“This page!” [Note: Mi’s journey to find the source of ‘a sound like summer, a sound like happy’ – a very densely illustrated map which takes him past places like Two Pea Mountain and Banana Tree Path]. Also I like the Bald-headed Smoo and the Thinnyraffe!

What was your favourite museum in the book?
The Bench Museum for Sleeping [‘The Museum of Bench for Bored and Sleepy Visitors’]. Because it’s funny!

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Follow Up Activity

As a follow up activity to reading this book, we’ve been drawing our own Museum Cities together. This is #MuseumBoy’s one (he’s only just learning to write, so he asked me to help out a little with labelling the museums). Why don’t you have a go at drawing your own imaginary Museum City! Please share your pictures with me if you do, I would love to see them!

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Mi and Museum City is available from Amazon UK (Affiliate link) and Amazon US.

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3 Responses to “Kids in Museums Book Club: ‘Mi and Museum City’”

  1. linda sarah Says:

    This review is so amazingly lovely, I can’t stop grinning! It’s the first time my book has had a “like love” and it’s made my year! Thank you so much! Also, Mi and Yu send a huge hellloooo to #MuseumBoy and like love him vey much!

    The drawings are gorgeous too. I want to visit the Museum of Funny Grass and the Floating Museum (and all of them) – they look brilliantly fun :-)



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