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November 2012 / Bronx/​Riverdale Family / Brooklyn Family / Long Island Family / Manhattan Family / Queens Family / Staten Island Family / Columnists / The Book Worm

‘Mimi’s Village’

An inspiring read

Even though your child is young, you can bet she’s listening to conversations she hears. Surely, she knows that healthcare is a big issue these days. If it’s piqued her interest and she wants to learn more, she may enjoy a new book about a little girl who helps her family and village receive better healthcare.

“Mimi’s Village” by Katie Smith Milway tells the story of Mimi Malaho, who worries about her pregant mother after a baby in her village dies. Her family has been lucky — until Mimi’s little sister, Nakkissi, drinks some dirty water from the river, and get sick that night.

She moaned and couldn’t keep anything in her tummy, so Ma and Pa wrapped her in a blanket and put her in their cart. The whole family walked an hour to the next village, where there was a clinic.

The next morning, Nurse Tela took care of Nakkissi and all the other babies lined up for help. As Mimi watched Nurse Tela weigh each baby, she learned that the next day was vaccination day. The Malahos decided to spend the night at the clinic so they could get vaccinated.

When she got home, Mimi heard her father talking about malaria, which was making lots of the village’s children sick. That night, Mimi had a dream that led to an idea, which led to a project that helped her whole village!

Inspired by real events and real people, the story explains a grown-up issue in a kid-friendly way, and children will definitely identify with a girl like Mimi. Smith gives kids information about Zambia healthcare workers and healthcare in general. Aided by Eugenie Fernandes’s illustrations, young readers learn that they can help make life better for other children around the world.

Recommended for 5- to 8 year olds who love making a difference, this is a book you’ll feel good about your child reading.

“Mimi’s Village,” by Katie Smith Milway [32 pages, 2012, $18.95].

Terri Schlichenmeyer has been reading since she was 3 years old, and she never goes anywhere without a book. She lives on a hill with two dogs and 12,000 books.

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