To celebrate the paperback release of Molly and Pim and the Millions Of Stars by Martine Murray I am super excited to be sharing a guest post about the inspiration behind Molly and Pim today here on Tales.
Molly and Pim and the Millions Of Stars was initially released in hardback on the 17th January 2017 and from the 23rd February 2017 will be available in paperback.
Martine Murray’s new illustrated middle-grade novel Molly and Pim and the Millions of Stars is a whimsical story about friendship and individuality and learning to see the freshness and wonder in the world.
A story about mothers and daughters and magical trees Molly and Pim and the Millions Of Stars is a magical tale about the individuality in everyone and is perfect for fans of Katherine Rundell’s Rooftoppers and author Rebecca Stead calls “an utter delight.”
So read all about the inspiration in this fab guest post …..
Molly’s mother is not like other mothers: she rides a yellow bike and collects herbs and makes potions, perhaps even magical potions…
Molly wants to be normal, like her friend Ellen, and watch television and eat food that comes in packets. But when Molly’s mother accidentally turns herself into a tree, Molly turns to the strange and wonderful Pim for help. And as they look for a way to rescue her mother, Molly discovers how to be happy with the oddness in her life.
Inspiration For Molly & Pim
This seed for this story was sewn when, one fine day, I was digging a big hole in my garden to plant a mulberry tree. Into the hole clambered my young daughter. I pretended to plant her, heaping the dirt in around her feet and warning her that she would soon grow into a tree and bear lots of little fruity versions of herself on the branches. She didn’t grow into a tree as she preferred to climb out of the hole and do something a little less static, but as a result of that I wrote a very short story about a woman who accidentally plants her daughter instead of a tree. When I was casting around in my mind for an idea for a novel, I wondered instead what it would be if this was reversed and the mother became the tree. This made more sense for a novel, rather than a fable, as I was drawn to the idea of a child being “parented” by a tree or more specifically the image of a tree as sort of a mother with a child living in its branches, off its fruit and via its shelter. In a time when the environment is in jeopardy, this image arrived with a poignancy that seemed worth exploring.
Also in these times, when children’s experience of nature can be minimal or at the least very mediated and when imaginative play in the outdoors is not often encouraged or is replaced by screen time, I wanted to show a child, Molly, whose life depends on her establishing a real and vital connection with, in this case, a tree, but also with plants. In this story the mother accidentally transforms herself into a tree but as a tree, continues to mother Molly by providing shelter, shade, food and support. Molly, has to recall her mother’s knowledge of plants to try and use them to find solutions to the challenges that befall her along the way. Interspersed through out the story are pages from Molly’s notes about common plants and weeds and their historical or medicinal uses.
Many other themes develop as the story unfolds, themes particularly connected to the challenge of self -acceptance, the acceptance of difference and how all this is negotiated within the complex requirements and gifts of friendship. While the central problem of the story, the problem of Molly’s mother being a tree, speaks to the deeper mystery of our connection to nature, whether mystical, vital, sacred or lost, it also pays tribute to what is natural and universal, the cycles of change, challenge, growth, and transformation within self and in relation to others.
So the magic in this story is not of the elf sort, but is more the sort of magic that is born out of the deeper mysteries of the natural world and our connection to it. That mystery is felt as poetic and integral and engagement with it, whether imaginatively or practically, connects Molly and Pim to something greater than themselves.
You can buy a copy of Molly and Pim and the Millions Of Stars here or from your local bookshop
About Martine Murray
Martine Murray writes and illustrates picture books, middle-grade fiction and young adult fiction, including The Slightly True Story of Cedar B Hartley, The Slightly Bruised Glory of Cedar B Hartley and How to Make a Bird. Her books have been published internationally and translated into seventeen languages. She was born in Melbourne and currently lives in Castlemaine in Victoria.
You can find out more about Martine on her website – www.martinemurray.com
A huge thank you to the wonderful Martine Murray for such a fab post and insight into the inspiration behind Molly and Pim!
Also a huge thank you to Rebecca Watson for contacting me and organising this post.
Have you read Molly and Pim? What did you think? Where do you take your inspiration from? I would love to hear from you! Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of this review or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy!