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It’s Not Easy Being Mimi: Mimi's World, Book 1

Book review by
Carrie Kingsley, Common Sense Media
It’s Not Easy Being Mimi: Mimi's World, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Friendship tale has sweet message, some gender stereotypes.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

No academic content, but a focus on kids’ social dynamics, on helping kids relate to each other in positive ways even when it’s easier to be mad and hurtful.

Positive Messages

Despite some gender stereotyping, the idea that the kids are more alike than they are different is a lesson repeated with gentle humor throughout the story.

Positive Role Models & Representations

These kids only see adults when they’re at school, but these scarce role models are kind and supportive to the kids. 

Violence & Scariness
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that beginning chapter book It’s Not Easy Being Mimi, by author-illustrator Linda Davick, is quirky and fun, but young readers may ask the question: Where are the parents? The kids live in their own apartments in a tower and drive themselves around town without an adult in sight. There are teachers at school, a superintendent for the building, and Yoshi has an uncle overseas, but no one seems to have a parent. Once readers get past that whimsical premise, Mimi and her friends are a goofy, engaging read that continually returns to the lesson that everyone has a talent to celebrate -- even if it seems like the new kid is just weird and annoying. The plentiful illustrations are a lot of fun, and match the spirit of Mimi and her friends in this short chapter book for emerging readers.

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What's the story?

The kids in IT’S NOT EASY BEING MIMI are a varied bunch, with lots of different interests. Mimi and her beloved cat, Marvin, live on the fourth floor of Periwinkle Tower, above Yoshi on the third floor, Tonya on the second, and their new neighbor, Boris, on the first. Boris doesn’t seem to fit into the group, and he irritates Mimi. But when they’re partnered up to create the sets for the school play, Mimi learns she has a lot more in common with Boris than she thought. And, when Marvin goes missing in the middle of the play, Mimi is surprised to see who comes to the rescue.

Is it any good?

This story is whimsical, funny, and engaging, although the characters tend to fit gender stereotypes. Girls like cats, looking in the mirror, baking, and unicorns, and boys like baseball, music, and dinosaurs. And readers may be puzzled by the unexplained idea that kids live alone and drive their own cars.

The words in It’s Not Easy Being Mimi are simple enough for young readers to digest alongside some challenging vocabulary, and the short chapters will give a sense of accomplishment. The moral of the story -- that everyone deserves a chance -- is a great reminder for readers of all levels.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how none of the kids in It’s Not Easy Being Mimi has parents. What do you think that would be like? What’s the first thing you’d do if you lived alone? What would you like and dislike?

  • Sometimes the kids have trouble controlling themselves, like Boris with the candy and Mimi with the Advent calendar. What do you have a hard time with?

  • What other books have characters like Mimi and her friends?

Book details

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