When my eldest daughter was three, she had a friend called Ellabella.
She and Ellabella were tight. They did everything together. They would chase butterflies in the yard, and giggle and squeal when they had Justine Clarke dance parties. Sometimes they would simply sit and chat. Together they would weave intricate yarns of princesses and Queens and anything their wild imaginations could dream up.
Ellabella was older than my daughter, which turned out to be a good thing. She was a positive influence helping her to pick up toys and not be afraid of the dark.
Best of all, she was my little girl’s first friend. She helped her out of her shell in tough situations and comforted her when she was lonely or scared.
And then one day, my daughter made a new friend. And then another friend. And then a third friend after that.
She talked about Ellabella less and less, and when I was brave enough to ask her whereabouts one day, I was told she’d moved to Hong Kong.
Ellabella (the imaginary friend) was no longer needed. She’d served her purpose in helping a shy little girl find her feet at daycare. I can never thank Ellabella enough for that.
I was reminded of Ellabella recently when I was given a book to review.
Just Like Molly is a beautifully heart-felt tale of friendship.
I have a friend called Molly. She loves playing games.
Molly sleeps under my bed.
Nobody can see her only me.
… One day Molly wasn’t in my room … She wasn’t anywhere.
And being sad and afraid.
I am in Grade 1 and I don’t think many of the kids in my class like me.
And the beauty, excitement and relief of making new friends.
Just Like Molly is a gentle tale that reassures kids it’s okay to feel shy and lonely in new situations and that there is a friend out there for them.
My two girls (aged six and four) loved Just Like Molly.
Miss Four, in particular, could relate to the book. Miss Four is experiencing an incredibly shy phase. She started Kindy this year with a new group of kids and has worked hard to push herself out of her comfort zone to find friends. There have been tears and cries of ‘I don’t want to go’, but we’re making progress. Big progress, and it’s beautiful to see.
I glanced at Miss Four when I read the book for the first time. I could see the emotions rising in her. Her darling lips formed a tiny frown and she looked worried and sad when Molly all of a sudden disappeared. I could almost feel the relief in her when the character in the book found a new friend.
As for Miss Six, I could see a flicker of recognition in her eyes.
‘You used to have a friend like Molly,’ I told her.
Miss Six let out a giggle and gave me a knowing smile. Good old Ellabella, we both thought.
Just Like Molly was written by Victorian schoolgirl Pippa Dowling when she was just 10-years-old. The book is beautifully illustrated by Melbourne-based artist, Sunshine.
I recommend Just Like Molly for ages 3 – 7. It is the perfect tale for any kid who is apprehensive about starting a new kindergarten or school.
You can purchase Just Like Molly online from Empowering Resources. Empowering Resources specialise in publishing books that nurture, educate and empower kids and adults.
Thanks to Empowering Resources I have a copy of Just Like Molly to give away to three lucky readers.
If you’d like to score yourself a copy of Just Like Molly, tell me in the comments how you’ve helped your child through a difficult period of change.
Terms and Conditions
– This giveaway is only open to Australian residents (excluding ACT).
– This giveaway closes at 8pm AEST on Monday 3 April 2017.
– Winners will be contacted via email on Tuesday 4 April 2017.
– This is a game of skill. The most interesting answer as judged by a panel will be deemed a winner.
Mummy, Wife, Me received a copy of Just Like Molly in exchange for this post. As always, all opinions are my own.
Linking up today with Kylie Purtell for IBOT.