Milly, Molly and Betelgeuse 

 New Zealand Author:   Gill Pittar

Illustrator:   Cris Morrell

Ages:  4 – 8 years

Published by:   Milly Molly Books / MM House Publishing

Theme:   Love, Understanding, Differences, Feelings, Special, questions.

Opening Line:   “We may look different, but we feel the same.”

Synopsis:   A mother guinea pig loves to tell her young ones each night how special they are and where there names originated from, but she could not remember where Betelgeuse came from.  That is until Milly and Molly, two little girls from different ethnic backgrounds, stumble across a shining star.  This 32 page book is one of 48 books in the Milly, Molly series, each one giving parents the opportunity to teach their children about everyday questions they may face and how to get along with each other.  Encouraging values such as cooperation, respect, forgiveness, trustworthiness, responsibility, loss and grief, and many others, to help them become happy, successful, well-adjusted people.

Why I like this:   I love that this is one of a series of books by a New Zealand author that shows that it’s not what we look like or that we may be different in colour but it is what is inside each of us that matters and that really we are all the same.  

 I reviewed this book previously on my blog back in early February 2011.  See the link here.  Read the review and then continue back here.  I felt it worthy of Perfect Picture Book Listing on Susanna’s Blog, hence a second mention.  The list of books in the “Milly, Molly” series has grown since then and now published in 40 languages around the world.  I love the simple meaningful message each one has.  Teaching children how to handle every day issues, as well as more complex ones.  A recent book called Milly, Molly and the Tree Hut actually encourages children to turn the television off and play outside… the moral: the child would rather be ON television than watching it….. you will have to get that book out to figure that one out!  Another book called the “Milly, Molly and LilyMay” has been taken up with the NZ Police to help children in their “Child Abuse Prevention Programs”.

Gill Pittar is hands on not only here in New Zealand joining forces with Kids Can Charity  but also recently travelling to Tanzania and Uganda with World Vision, distributing the Milly and Molly books, soccer balls and netball.  The illustrations by Cris are also wonderful, cheerful and colourful.                                                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBNvSB3ZTw4&feature=related


This is the Milly, Molly Website….   http://testlink.co.nz/Home/tabid/38496/Default.aspx there is much to see on this website from their books, their vision, and involvement with NZ’s Kids Can Charity and World Vision in Africa.

I couldn’t help but pick out the author page from the above website, for you to look at and please scroll down and watch the very interesting video interview with Gill.  http://testlink.co.nz/AboutUs/TheAuthor/tabid/38529/Default.aspx

Another cute page for you to learn Milly and Molly’s song, again from the above website…..     http://testlink.co.nz/KidsZone/tabid/38518/Default.aspx

Here also is a website of the book Milly, Molly and the Tree Hutt on itunes, downloadable for kids to enjoy, even  colouring in and making the story come alive.  http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/milly-molly-and-the-tree-hut-hd/id378232187?mt=8

Milly, Molly’s on Shop Website  for you to browse through…  http://millymolly.dremus.com/index.php?route=common/home

These books would make a great addition for any school library and prove invaluable tool for discussion, both in the classroom and at home.

Some cute videos for kids to watch…..  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1d8CvtIxBRI&NR=1&feature=endscreen http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDXVpFTwHgs   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbdbAuZ89-s&feature=related  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzbgevx2CIY&feature=related     I could go on, but if you look on the side bar you will see many more videos for the kids to watch.   Enjoy!

For more books with resources please visit the lovely author Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and find the tab for  Perfect Picture Books.    Her blog is full of resources links and activities associated with the books reviewed by many authors.

About Diane Tulloch

Known also as the Patientdreamer I am a writer who loves to dream, and is passionate about writing stories for the young so that they may join me in the wonders of adventure in countries and cultures afar, and in special moments to remember.
This entry was posted in Folklore / multicultural, Picture book, Picture Book Review and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. A song?! Who can turn down a book that has a SONG to go along with it? Thanks for sharing.

  2. Joanna says:

    Does Betelgeuse have a meaning, Diane? This sounds like another great Kiwi offering for PPPF.

  3. Love your selection Diane. Had to check your review from last year. Good way to get some previous books on the list. I love you Kiwi selections a lot. We need them on the list! Great choice!

    • Thankyou Pat. I will gradually bring a couple more previously mentioned books forward into the PPBF list, not necessarily Kiwi ones, but ones worthy of being selected for Susanna’s list. I am pleased you like my kiwi selection. They have done well in awards here and some in awards overseas. One of my previously mentioned kiwi authors has just been nominated third place in an overseas award which I will mention in an upcoming post sometime soon.

      • Susanna told me if I reformatted some of my earlier entires she would include them. But, the dates are last year. I may just reformat and make the dates current because back then I didn’t have many responses.

  4. It’s so cool how books can help people! I am going to check out the links you listed. I’m with Ms. Marple – where did Betelgeuse come from? 🙂

    • Thankyou Erik and I’m sorry I can’t say anymore about his name….. you will have to get the book…lol. Okay a hint then….. I mentioned the star.! I am glad you like this series and you and your sister will certainly love the videos. Maybe download the itune!

  5. What is inside that counts! Exactly! This is a lesson for children to learn in life. This books sounds fabulous! Love the activities too. The opening line says it all. What a great addition. 🙂

    • Thankyou Robyn ….. yes that opening line says it all…… exactly! In New Zealand we are very lucky in that we have never had to deal with discrimination of race or religion as other countries have had to…. but it is other things such as bullying, abuse, etc…. which are becoming more widespread these days, that this series also deals with, and is what makes them a great effective tool and popular around the world. Gill uses a soft approach that makes you think. You will love this series. Love seeing you here Robyn.

  6. This sounds like a lovely series filled with great messages for kids. I’ll have to see if I can find them here. Thanks for the recommendation!

    • Hi Kirsten, thankyou for your comment. I hope you do find them, I know you will love this series. Gill is a wonderful writer, and the illustrations are gorgeous.

  7. I really like the sound of this series, Diane – lots of great messages for kids with lovely illustrations if this cover is anything to go by. It’s great to have one of a series so if kids/parents/teachers like this one they can go find lots more. Thanks for sharing this book on an important topic 🙂

    • Thankyou Susanna. I have been looking back through my blog as I remember Pat telling me once when we first started participating in PPBF that I had a few really worthwhile books to showcase on your list. It took me awhile to find this one as its one of my first reviews I did last year. The series has grown and the author uses a soft approach to deal with all sorts of issues that will no doubt arise in many kids lives, especially growing up in todays society. It is obvious Gill keeps her website updated which is good to know, as I had not known of the police being interested in her books, nor about her trip to South Africa. (note to self to keep an eye on her website in future)

  8. Heather says:

    My sons love to hear the stories behind their names. I think there’s something in knowing why the name that identifies them was chosen, the thought process behind it. A very nice choice, thank you.

    • I am pleased you liked this choice Heather. Isn’t it funny how inquisitive kids are these days.. Everything has a reason and every reason for something.
      Nice to see you here.

  9. Amy Dixon says:

    Oh my, I may have to track down this book just so I can find out the mystery behind Betelgeuse! Thanks for another great recommendation, Diane!

  10. Sounds like a wonderful series — love that it deals with every day issues I will have to check these out. Thank you!

  11. Hi Diane, it’s my first time to visit your blog, although I’ve been seeing your comments around mutual blogger-friends of ours. We have joined PPBF so it’s been so lovely visiting so many fabulous websites and getting to know yours more intimately as well. I must admit that this is the first time I’ve heard of this book and this author, oh boy, am I being led to sooo many lovely picture books, my TBR stack is now about as tall as I am. Will check this one out.

    • Hi Myra, yes I have also seen you around our mutual friends. Joanna, Pat and Beth and I met (in person) last year at the LA SCBWl which was a wonderful experience. So glad you have joined up PPBF, it is a lot of fun and a great learning experience with all these wonderful books and resources to venture into. I hope you will stay and wander around my blog. Many love my travel page, which I promise to update sometime soon. Glad you like this choice of picture book. LOL…. I can imagine how tall the stack is….. same here..lol. Enjoy!

  12. Thank you so much, Diane…as everyone probably realizes by now, I am always looking for great books with important messages to share with kids…this book (and series) is definitely spot on for that!
    You’ve also provided a wide array of awesome resources…perfect!

    • Thankyou Vivian, so pleased you love this choice. I had known of this book and series for quite awhile and had delved into the authors website and beyond. In fact I probably have visited her shop a few times before she went into writing. Amazing how ones life changes and what wonderful adventures writing can carry you off into. There are many resources out there and the messages in these books easily identifiable with kids of today. Glad you liked this, and thanks for dropping by.

  13. clarbojahn says:

    So cool this book is about acceptance just like we are. Kids need to know that. I will check out the links on this site tomorrow when I have more time. This seems like a good selection for PPBF to me. Thanks for introducing it to us.

  14. The Milly, Molly series sounds like a perfect addition to an elementary school library! I’ll have to see if our vendor carries these books. Thank you for this great pb selection 🙂

  15. Stacy S. Jensen says:

    Diane, I’m way late on stopping by, but so glad I didn’t miss this selection. The topics sound great for newbie parents like me.

  16. I love the values this book focuses on. I will have to find it at the library!

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