Miffy in the Snow – Dick Bruna

More in the Series – Miffy
“More in the Series” scores the other books in a series where one (or more) of the books have made it into the 1001 Books list. Mostly because I’m a bit of a completionist. 

POINTS: 2 out of 10.

Bechdel: 0 points
Variety of characters: 0 points
Good story:  2 point
Discretionary ideological points: 0 point.

This is so much better than the original Miffy book. SO MUCH BETTER. Even still, though, it fails almost every metric. Miffy herself is the only named character in the book (unless you count “Mummy”, but she makes no appearance except implicitly (calling her in because it’s bedtime), so it still fails, even if you do count her).

They’re all bunnies, so no diversity really, either. And the story is… well… fairly underwhelming.

It snows. Miffy plays in the snow. There is a sad cold bird. Miffy makes sad cold bird a house. The end. Meh. I mean, I suppose you could argue for “look how nice she was to the bird”. It is quite nice to build a house for one poor cold bird, I suppose, and that sort of construction is pretty clever for a bunny-child who is portrayed as being pretty little.

That all said, I wasn’t wildly impressed. It’s significantly better than the original Miffy book, which I panned. This was at least kind of fun to read and I didn’t feel the need to correct things in conversation. Not going to be challenging any status quos though, and honestly I still find the world of  Miffy a bit saccharine.

The pictures are cute though, and I like the simple boldness of it. If I’m honest, I would probably have rated this higher if I hadn’t read the first one first.

If you must read Miffy, better this than the other. 🙂

 

Miffy – Dick Bruna

POINTS: 1 out of 10.

Bechdel: 0 point
Variety of characters: 0 points
Good story: 1 point from C
Discretionary ideological points: 0 points

Miffy is the first in a long series of books about a bunny. (What is it with children’s books and bunnies, man?) In fact, this is the story of Miffy’s birth.

Miffy’s birth is signalled by an angel who shows up to tell Mrs Bunny that she’s going to have a baby. Now I know there is a long tradition in folklore of women being told of their upcoming child by random animals and creatures, but the angel annoys me. My four year old already knows where babies come from. Can we just stop lying to kids about this please?

That aside, Miffy doesn’t do very well in any of the categories. There is (almost) no dialogue at all, so it can’t pass the Bechdel. It almost does because the cow talks to Mrs Bunny (cooing at her about her baby), but the cow is unnamed, so it fails on a technicality. But the gender roles are pretty traditional (Mr Bunny works in the garden, Mrs Bunny cooks and cleans and shops). And there’s certainly no clear diversity.

C gave it a thumbs up, but honestly I find it mostly pretty saccharine and insipid. I’ve only read one other Miffy book, so we’ll see how we go when I proceed through the series in my “Rest of the Series” posts, but I’m fairly underwhelmed. I can’t really find any reasons to give it any discretionary points at all.

I am sure there are better options.

What do you think? Are you a Miffy fan? Or can you think of better alternatives?