'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Wednesday 25 October 2023

Review: Millie Mak the Maker

Many readers will associate closely with the contents of this imaginative book by Alice Pung. Gorgeous black pen illustrations accompany the text.

With several interesting underlying themes racing through it, it is the doll’s house on the nature strip in the hard rubbish collection, that starts it all.

Story One introduces Millie and Granny, who are passionate curb side collectors. When they see the doll’s house, they can’t wait to get it home and restore it. 

But they are not the only ones who want it. First there gets it!

Most of the book is about seeing beauty in discarded things and repurposing, re-using and recycling pre-loved things that are treasures to the finder, but rubbish to those that discard them.


Against the background of Millie’s life, surroundings, and family situations, we discover that being without, is a state of mind.

Milly’s two Grannies have taught her how to find extraordinary objects of beauty and usefulness in the ordinary world, and teach us, how life can be beautiful with handmade things designed and created with imagination and know-how.

Each creative thought gives birth to a new adventure for Millie as she learns to search in op shops for things that she can reuse, renew, or remodel.

Story Two sees dad injured after being hit by a car while riding his bike and life becomes harder for Millie and family. They have to find a way to manage with less.

The background stories speak of acts of kindness, difficulties in creating new friendships, being responsible, and ways of overcoming unkindness meted out other children, whose reasons appear to be due to dissatisfaction in their own lives. These are threaded through beautifully with creative initiatives discovered by Millie or the Grannies.  

Easy-to-follow instructions for sewing lots of useful objects, clothes, and hair decorations from items you never imagined, will be invaluable to any budding Maker. 

How to produce something new from something old becomes easy, and the satisfaction of using your hands to create, can bring great pleasure.

I loved this book and the fact that it reflects the way many people have lived and still live today – by using things that others don’t need or want anymore, to create, restore or remake something necessary and meaningful to them.

Another stunning cover reflects the contents of the book.

Title: Millie Mak the Maker
Author: Alice Pung
Illustrator: Sher Rill Ng
Publisher:Harper Collins, $ 22.99
Publication Date: 30 August 2023
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781460763773 
For ages: 8+
Type: Junior Fiction