Trains journeys can be exciting or long and arduous, with twists and turns in the track, moments when the scenery outside is breathtaking, then other times when you’re travelling in a dark tunnel with not much to see. This notion can be applied to life and friendship. Molly and Mae are two young girls that meet on a train platform and make an instant connection. Molly finds Mae underneath a bench and they laugh. More games and tender moments follow as they wait for their train to arrive—photographs, balancing, ballet, sherbet, secrets, colouring, “waiting for a while at being hungry.” I adore this line.

Along the journey the games continue. The scenery is green and pleasurable, but turns stormy when Molly and Mae disagree. “Molly thought Mae was being silly and told her so. Mae was tired of being bossed around.” Time moves slowly. Faces turn sullen. Until—they miss each other, and make amends. “Molly took the words that she shouldn’t have said and hid them. Then she found some words that she should have said and started to build a bridge between them. Mae added some words of her own, until it was strong enough to hold them both.” Parker’s choice of words and this perfect metaphor connects with children and how they view their world. The shading and texture in Blackwood’s art is beautiful, and changes of layout are engaging and allow the story to flow smoothly—time passing in the one spread, subtle panels, the outside scenery merging with the interior, and full page spreads in those quiet moments. Molly & Mae is a heart-warming example of true friendship.

  • Published by Little Hare / Hardie Grant Egmont
  • 4-8 years
  • 4.5