Age Range
Release Date
February 15, 2022
Buy This Book
“Marvelous mouse-sized mischief for all ages.” —Booklist (starred review)

From the creator of the acclaimed and beloved Pokko and the Drum comes an emotionally resonant, “richly imagined” (The Horn Book,starred review)​ picture book about trust, worry, and loyalty between a father and daughter.

Mina and her father live in a hollowed-out tree stump on the edge of a pond on the edge of a forest. Nothing ever bothers Mina, until one day, her father brings home a suspicious surprise from the woods.

Should Mina trust her father—or listen to her own instincts?

Editor review

1 review
picture book about misunderstandings, family, and optimism
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
MINA is an overall light-hearted read about a young mouse and her father. Mina loves her father, but she does not understand why he collects the things he does. She can live with most of it, but then he brings home a "squirrel" which is actually a cat. Although Mina is very wary, her father is not at all worried and reminds her of the stick insects he brought home that she taught to read - before they stole all her books. The squirrel is not eating, and her father goes out and finds 2 more, calling the doctor for help. The doctor tells him that they are cats, and the cats begin to chase them. The mice are saved by a stick insect who comes and reads a story until the cats fall asleep.

What I loved: There is plenty to giggle about in this story, including some of the things Mina's father collects such as the antique art (stamps) he collects - as well as the "squirrels" that are obviously cats. Children will find humor in these missteps as well as the way they are saved by a stick insect reading the cats to sleep. The text on each page is short and focused on the illustrations that are full of details and a vintage look.

There are some intriguing themes around trust, misunderstandings, optimism/pessimism, and family. The book is easy to read with large, clear fonts over white panels.

What left me wanting more: I was a bit troubled by the way that Mina's father puts her in danger and does not listen to her at all. This lack of support does not send a great message, but it does add to the humor of the story.

Final verdict: Overall, MINA is a story that will entertain young readers and work best for elementary school aged readers.
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