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My EXTRA-ordinary Mum by Dani Vee

Title: My EXTRA-ordinary Mum

Green hills covered in trees, flowers, rocks and wood with a yellow kombi van driving over it. A light grey-blue sky is above it all. Cream and red suitcases are tied to the car, with a green turtle and ginger cat sitting with them. A mum with curly red hair, and a blue bandana is driving the van, and she has four dogs and her brunette daughter in the car with her.

Author: Dani Vee

Genre: Fiction

Publisher: Larrikin House

Published: 1st August 2022

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 32

Price: $25.00

Synopsis: My mum’s a little quirky, free-spirited and bold. She dances to the beat of her own drum.

A fun-filled adventure and celebration of an extraordinary mum and her daughter who find magic in unexpected places.

We are all extraordinary, sometimes we just need reminding.

Dani Vee (Words and Nerds Podcast) invites readers to take a quiet moment and slow down into a story of celebrating the wonder and joy to be found in the ordinary.In this gentle story, rich in highly visual prose, follow an extraordinary mum who reflects the many forms of modern mums among us. She does things her own way and to the beat of her own drum. She encourages her daughter to lean into the unknown, to try new things, and above all else – to be herself.Together they discover new adventures, find hidden treasures, learn life lessons, and devour chocolate cake!

~*~

My EXTRAordinary Mum is Words and Nerds host, Dani Vee’s first book, and it is amazing. Dani’s story about a mum who does extraordinary and interesting things, who lives life to the fullest, and whose activities are seen through the eyes of her daughter, brought to life in Alexandra Colombo’s colourful, joyful, and vibrant illustrations (and at the book launch yesterday, by Nat Amoore as she acted out just about everything the extraordinary mum did as Dani read the book). This delightful story celebrates motherhood, being a mum, and having a mum in a beautiful and exciting way.

It is a great story for readers of all ages – and I’ve already read my signed, personalised copy twice and hope my niece and sister-in-law enjoy their copy that I got for them. What I liked about this book was that unlike other mum books, it showed the mum doing more than what we usually associate with mums. Instead of doing the washing up and then saving the world, Dani’s mum character participates in drum circles, breakdances, bungee-jumps, saves all the animals and goes swimming even without her swimmers! She is a mum who loves life and brings beautiful vibrancy into everything she does – she doesn’t sit back, she goes out and does all the cool things that make her extraordinary – all the things that this mum loves to do. In doing this, Dani has given us a different kind of mum book – to read alongside the others to show that there are different ways of being a mum and that they are all valid. That mums can be mums in the way that works for them – and that to their kids, they will always be extraordinary.

This is important because it allows readers of all ages to see that everyone is an individual. We all like to do different things, we all embrace our identities differently, and I think that the fact that we have so many children’s books for all ages coming out now and showing these different ways of being is fantastic. It means there should be something for everyone, and ways for everyone to see themselves in fiction. In this instance, allowing readers to see the spectrum of what a mum might like to do illustrates that everyone is individual – and I loved the mum in this book, because she sounded like a lot of fun, and she reminds us that it is okay to be ourselves – to dance to the beat of our own drum, whatever that  may be, and it is something I hope everyone is able to learn from this book.  

I was lucky enough to attend the book launch at Gleebooks on the 30th of July, and it was such fun. I got to listen to Dani read the book and watched Nat Amoore act out each page and action – all whilst dressed up, of course! As well as that, Nat and one of her podcast co-hosts from One More Page – Kate Simpson – sang a very interesting and fun musical  number about mums and mummy love, to the tune of Summer Nights – which was an epic way to open the book launch, and overall, the launch was a lot of fun and I am glad I went and got to meet Dani, Nat, Kate, and Liz – the other third of One More Page FINALLY after w have been hoping to do so for years (thanks COVID). I am now hooked on Dani’s writing and I am really looking forward to the other books she has planned – and I am sure her other book launches will be just as fun, and have equally dulcet tones to open it. What a great afternoon it was! A huge thank you to Dani and everyone there – so great to meet you!

Overall, the book is one that I have loved reading recently, loved helping launch, and have loved hearing about from Dani. It’s such a thrill to see a fellow book reviewer and friend achieve this, and I am sure the forthcoming books will be just as fabulous. I can’t wait to see what Dani gives us next!

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