Mini Mia and Her Darling Uncle

by Pija Lindenbaum

Ella stays with her grandmother and her uncles while her parents take a trip to Miami,... read more

Ella stays with her grandmother and her uncles while her parents take a trip to Miami, and what Ella most looks forward to during this visit is spending time with her Uncle Tommy, who knows how to keep a small child entertained: dying her hair a different color every day, going to listen to music, and people-watching at their favorite café. Even though he doesn’t enjoy playing soccer himself, Uncle Tommy recognizes Ella’s skills and nicknames her “Mini Mia” after Mia Hamm. Life seems perfect to Ella until Tommy’s new friend, Fergus, starts joining them wherever they go. Ella doesn’t like sharing her Uncle Tommy and she doesn’t particularly like Fergus. She expresses her displeasure in childlike ways: pouring sugar on his shoes and pulling his towel into the swimming pool. Then she learns they both have a passion for playing soccer. While it will be clear to adult readers that Uncle Tommy and his friend Fergus are a gay couple, nothing explicit is ever mentioned in the text and young readers are likely to see the two only through Ella’s eyes. Lindenbaum’s trademark humor comes through in both her understated text and comic illustrations. (Ages 4–8)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2008

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