Mimi’s Village And How Basic Health Care Transformed It

ImageWritten by Katie Smith Milway, illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes

Kids Can Press, 2012

32 p.; $19.95 (hardcover)

ISBN: 9781554537228 (hardcover)

Reviewed by Shanna Shadoan

Ages 7-10

Life in Mimi’s Kenyan village can be frightening: Mimi’s sister gets sick after drinking dirty water, and sometimes people get malaria or other illnesses. Mimi’s mother is about to have another baby, and Mimi wants to be sure the baby grows up strong and healthy. When the villagers build a clinic, the nurse teaches them about the importance of using nets to protect themselves from mosquitoes, how to make sure their drinking water is clean, and other things they can do to be safe.

Katie Smith Milway wrote this book (and others) to teach children about real-world challenges and how they can help. After the story, there are several pages of facts and some suggestions for action. While the intentions are good, the picture-book format seems wordy. However, with some quick editing by the reader, this book could easily be transformed into a read-aloud for younger audiences. Older children, who would be most likely to understand the serious implications of lack of health care in Mimi’s village, may prefer to enjoy reading it on their own.