In Molly and Pim and the Millions of Stars, Martine Murray has found a gripping but gentle way to introduce children to the world of plant energy.
The story begins with Molly’s mother gathering herbs one morning, in the nearby forest. When Molly wakes she senses something in the air and declares, “A day arrives with a certain feeling about it . . .” Her mother is collecting plants to use for healing, but Molly is uncomfortable with the craft of creating potions from herbs. Molly doesn’t want to stand out or to be seen as different. She doesn’t like to think about plants, “ . . . vibrating or emitting or sensing”. However, as the story unfolds, we discover Molly has her own innate ability to tune in to the frequencies of plants. We also learn how important this is.
Amongst the plants and trees, themes of friendship and aloneness are woven throughout this story. Molly is torn with what to share with her best friend, scared of what she will think, and feels alone in solving a very serious problem. In her urgent need Molly bumps up against the edges of her courage, and allows a new and unexpected friendship to take shape. She learns that differences in people can complement each other, making friendships interesting and fun.
Molly and Pim’s instinctive relationship with nature is a central thread, and a constant movement within this story. In their willingness to listen to and work with nature, and hear its wisdom, they find adventure, comfort and solutions.
Murray’s poetic descriptions of the natural world flow with a particular warmth and pleasure. Murray writes, “Outside, the sky was sinking towards darkness and the windows were glowing with insideness”.
The reader is encouraged to see, hear, smell, taste and feel, all aspects of the natural world with wonder and a renewed aliveness. On another night when Molly was working hard to resolve the problem, she is scared and notices that, “The dark crept towards her, long black fingers of it”. However, Molly found her courage and realised, “she could break the dark’s quiet. She could shake it all off her.”
Murray reminds the reader that when we are willing to love and show our deep feelings, we can help ourselves, and others (humans and trees) to miraculously transform. Through the sensitive art of using plant energy for healing, this book enables the reader to grow a true and tender reverence for the wisdom of the natural world.
Molly and Pim and the Millions of Stars (2015), published by Text, was shortlisted for the 2016 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards. The Richmond Tweed Regional Library holds several copies.