Mimi is a poignant story about a young koala who is unlike any other. She communicates differently, plays differently, and thinks differently. As she grows from a young joey into an adolescent, she struggles to build bonds with her peers and faces many tribulations along the way. At her side, throughout, are her loving parents, who are tasked with trying to understand her, foster her familial relations and unlock her unique potential.
Genre: Children / Education
Age appropriate: 6-12 years’ old
Number of Pages: 62 pages
Date of Publication: 29/12/2020
This book was written by Rauf Khalilov, who is a London based lawyer and parent of an autistic child. The illustrations were created by Anna Karapetian.
This is a sweet story about Mimi a koala who sees the world differently from others. She loves looking at the sky and looks to be as high as she can be so she can be alone and see the world from a different prospective. She lives in her own world and her families goal is to cross an invisible barrier to get through to her and understand her better. Mimi also lacks a sense of danger so she will go and explore dangerous situations that she believes are safe.
The family aspect in this book is a very strong topic as well as the struggles that they face while trying to understand and help their daughter.
The illustrations are beautiful and full of colour, representing really well the story. The background of the illustration blends into the background of the text making the book very visually appealing. The book was written by a father who knows first-hand the struggles that a family of an autistic person go through and how hard some situations can be. The story is narrated in 3rd person and the focus is on the parent’s perspective and their description of Mimi. Having a main character with a disability breaks the stereotype and bring some freshness to the story.
The language used in the story can be a bit complex at times for some children and it could be a bit overwhelming due to the content and the amount of words on a page. I would definitely recommend parents to read this book with their children rather than letting them read it alone. This book also features themes of environmental protection and the importance of preserving nature.
As a parent of an autistic child I could relate with the family and how hard can be at times but also how rewarding having a child with a disability can be, you just learn to appreciate the small things of the world better.
This is an interesting book covering serious themes in a way that tries to appeal to children. The artwork and the use of a family of Koalas softens the seriousness although the vocabulary is quite advanced for a children’s book and the text can be quite dense. As a book FOR younger autistic children I think this book is of little value for this reason but the description of the methods the Koala parents used to develop better communication strategies with their child was actually incredibly detailed and concise. This is a great book for anyone who wants to know more about autism as well as a guide for older children to understand that some people might need a little more patience and understanding and to help them see the strengths of others rather than their differences.
We need more acceptance of disabilities in the world.
Availability: You can find this book as a paperback on Amazon.
Thank you so much Rauf Khalilov for providing me with a kindle copy of the book.