Mimi’s journey is reminiscent of multiple fantasy and fairytale protagonists in a way that evokes nostalgia rather than feeling derivative or overdone. One such moment is her conversation with the caterpillar, when he tells her she can “go this way or that way or sideways” pointing his legs in different directions, a decidedly Wizard of Oz move. An event even earlier in the narrative, when Mimi is bestowed a magical gold baton by the kind maestro, feels appropriately grandiose, marking the true start to our hero’s journey.
With a deft hand, Nicolò Carozzi’s intricate illustrations set the scene and are downright atmospheric. The illustration style itself, with the visible pencil marks and (mostly) muted color palette, conjures the nostalgic visuals that perfectly complement the text, bringing to mind the imaginative worlds and immersive illustrations of Chris Van Allsburg. Mimi’s determined nature and the connections she makes with fellow animals along the way show those who are shy or not quite ready to pursue their dreams just yet that perseverance and teamwork goes a long way. Sprinkled with magic and featuring detailed and immersive colored pencil illustrations, Mimi & the Gold Baton is sure to charm readers young and old.
Takeaway: The enchanting tale of a mouse’s journey to become a “mousetro.”
Comparable Titles: Giles Andreae’s Giraffes Can’t Dance, Kristy Dempsey’s A Dance Like Starlight.
Design and typography: A-
Marketing copy: A