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My Momo-La is a Museum

Book Synopsis

A child and their grandmother take a trip around the museums of the city, only to find that the further they walk, the closer to home their journey seems to take them… Momo-la is a collector of unusual things. She rummages through her collection of stories whenever she comes to visit. When her grandchild asks where her stories come from, she takes them on a trip around the museums of the city, pointing out that there are stories behind every work of art, every sculpture, every invention. But as the child sees exhibit after exhibit, they realise that each one reminds them of their Momo-la – the clothes she wears, the keepsakes she carries, and the memories she shares of her Tibetan home. Could the museum the child knows the best and loves the most be right on their doorstep all along? A gorgeously-written story about the love of a grandmother for her grandchild, the precious memories we carry and the treasures we keep in the hope of passing them down to the next generation.

Our Review Panel says...

This book has such an intriguing title to explore with children – what or who is a momo-la and how can they be a museum? A moma-la, we soon infer, is the Tibetan name for a grandmother and the grandmother in this story takes her granddaughter on a day trip to lots of museums to show her where stories come from.

For many children, a visit from a grandparent is a special event and this story can encourage children to share some of their own stories about their grandparents and perhaps also inspire a renewed curiosity about the life of their grandparent. The Moma-la in this story reveals various aspects of her life through the objects and wonders found in the different museums, art galleries and craft centres that the pair visit. There is ample opportunity to explore the Tibetan culture, through the traditional dress that is highlighted and through glimpses of the history of this people.

There are lots of places where the reader can pause in this book, checking children’s understanding of the language used and also ensuring children are inferring the meaning correctly as well as exploring the connections children are making to their own lives. If children have never visited a museum or art gallery, this will also need to be explained for the story to really come alive.

The clear and vibrant illustrations very effectively support the meaning of the words. The end note is a direct letter to the reader and is as important to read as the story, as it helps children begin to think about the stories that all families have in their histories. This is a powerful story and one that children will relate to.

My Momo-La is a Museum

my momo la is a museum

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