Tuesday 16 May 2023

Mini & Milo: The Teeny-Tiny Voice

Mini & Milo: The Teeny-Tiny Voice by Venita Dimos, illustrated by Natashia Curtin (Walker Books) HB RRP $25.99 ISBN: 9781760656157

Reviewed by Dannielle Viera

Mini the elephant has a big secret – inside her head lives a teeny-tiny voice that only she can hear. Sometimes it is encouraging, and sometimes it is funny, but most of all it is grumpy and mean, and it gets Mini into trouble. She asks her friend, Milo, to ‘make it magically disappear’, but it won’t go away. Then she has an idea. She writes a set of rules for the teeny-tiny voice, including ‘Kind words only’ and ‘No telling me to do naughty stuff’. At first, the voice has trouble sticking to the rules, but Mini uses strength and persistence to ensure that the voice starts to do the right thing.

In this book aimed at kids aged four to nine, Venita Dimos has used her experience as a mindset coach and mum to create an appealing story about the power of the inner voice. She makes it clear that having an inner voice is not the problem – it’s only when the voice becomes a negative force that it needs to be dealt with. Venita shows young readers a simple way to get the upper hand on an antagonistic voice, so they can lead a peaceful and happy life.

Bursting with colour and movement, Natashia Curtin’s illustrations are eye-catching and endearing. Children can easily see and understand every emotion that crosses Mini’s face, which allows them to empathise with the struggling protagonist. The characterisation of the inner voice as a tiny, ghost-like version of Mini is perfect – this reinforces the idea that the inner voice is part of Mini, yet it is small enough to manage.

Mini & Milo: The Teeny-Tiny Voice will hearten youngsters who are worried about the voice they hear in their heads. Following Mini’s lead, they will soon have an inner voice that is sweet, not sour

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