Mimi and the Cutie Catastrophe – Children’s Graphic Novel Review


Talented illustrator and author Shauna J. Grant, of http://www.shaunadraws.com/ introduces young readers to Mimi, a fun, fantastic little girl with a very big problem: everything thinks she’s just too cute!

Mimi wants others to see the other things about her, that make her special, and with the help of her magical toy dog Penelope, she does everything she can to try and change their minds…

Will she be stuck in this cute-astrope forever, or will others see her for who she truly is?

But that’s not all! She’s also a loyal friend and fun playmate, who has the best adventures with


Thank you Scholastic for providing this ARC.
I absolutely loved the illustrations for this book! When I saw the cover, I was immediately reminded of Pretty Cure, which was one of my favourite series as a kid.
The story itself was wonderful, especially since Mimi is super relatable. I can recall when I wondered whether being considered “cute” was a bad thing, and tried to make myself seem more “cool” like my older cousins and friends…even though I absolutely adored my stuffed animals and other cute things.
I think that exploring the thoughts and emotions that Mimi faces in this graphic novel, is an excellent way for young readers who are most likely facing similar situations, to try and understand what they’re going through.

I know I would’ve loved having a character like Mimi when I was growing up, especially since many of the books and films I grew up on weren’t much in favour of the cutesy aesthetic, and leaned more towards encouraging young children to be strong, as if those two things couldn’t go hand in hand. Here, Mimi proves the opposite, that you can still love what you love, and be loyal, strong, and brave! I think that’s a very important message for young children (and grownups too). We are more than what others perceive us as.

Another thing that I really want to mention is how precious Mimi’s friendship is with Penelope!

I had my very own Penelope growing up, who I used to take everywhere with me. To this day, I still have her.

Mimi shares her thoughts and feelings with Penelope, and even considers that in order to stop having others perceive her as cute or baby-ish she needs to stop playing with her favourite toy.

I can recall being teased about my stuffed animal by some kids in my class, and placing her in my trash bin (super dramatic I know), but then I felt lonely without her, and decided to rescue her. I didn’t care what the other kids thought about her anymore, because she was important to me. See, I used to be incredibly shy, and she helped me feel comfortable when I changed schools, or whenever I struggled to make friends. Just knowing she was close by in my backpack, was enough. She was…is…dear to me, and despite being a toy, really gave me an outlet to work through some complex emotions and situations as a child. I changed schools four times during our move between grades 3-4, and had to keep remaking friends, which at the time was extremely difficult for me. I wanted nothing more to go back to my old house and school, where my teachers all knew me and people actually pronounced my name properly haha.

Another thing that really got me was that Mimi has bubbles in her hair! As a kid, I absolutely adored these, and recently I found a doll with bubbles in her hair for my niece and went bonkers. Like, bubbles and beads were my favourite because it was like fashion for my hair…and until high school…and really more-so into my adult years, we weren’t really encouraged to experiment with our natural hair. It was always pulled back into a tight bun…but when I got to wear bubbles in my hair–I had these orange ones with teddy bears that had googly eyes–my mom would give me Pippi Longstocking braids…or that’s what I called them. It was my favourite thing in the world. Seeing Mimi with her hair like that on the cover made my day!

Mimi is such a sweet character, and I loved seeing how she grew throughout the story, and interacted with her friends, family and neighbours. I can’t wait to see what adventures she has going forward, and I look forward to seeing this book on shelves this July 2022!


Rating: 5 out of 5.

Perfect for ages 6-8!

Parked – Review

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Book Talk Episode 9: Writing Children

I absolutely adore my younger characters. They make me smile and laugh…and they’re incredibly cute. I think having young children in my series, really helps to balance my main characters. When my one character interacts with his five year old nephew, he acts very differently than when he’s around his friends or co-workers. He’s a little more laid back.

In real life we often alter ourselves slightly, depending on who we are with. It’s the old, “know your audience” thing, that we aren’t always aware of in our day to day. I’m still me, but I reveal different aspects of myself to different people.

We act differently when we’re with our boss, a friend, a stranger or a family member. The same also applies with when we interact with people in different age groups, or even how we act around animals.

I like using this in my writing.

My one character acts differently when she’s with her younger brothers who are 10 and 5, than when she’s around people the same age as her or older. She can go from goofing around with her siblings to having to take on the “big sister” role, and lecture them about their behaviour.

Another character of mine isn’t used to being around children, so they find themselves constantly having to keep themselves in check when a child is present. They don’t feel comfortable being their most authentic self, because they don’t want to accidentally do or say anything inappropriate in front of the younger characters.

I think that having all of these different characters interacting with one another, is really fun and allows you to really explore voice and dialogue.

I also use my niece and other children I’ve worked with in the past as a model for how my younger characters express themselves.

How does a 5 year old express feelings of frustration versus how an adult would? They don’t usually hide how they are feeling. Sometimes they’ll go off and sit by themselves and sulk, with their arms crossed, letting out constant sighs and groans so that everyone knows they’re upset. Other times, they’ll tell you, loud and clear.

It really is interesting to explore, and I think that it balances out my older characters.