Mini Mighty Merry Molly

Molly is an impressive toddler, with exceptional fine and gross motor control, artistic ability and the ability to speak two languages. Her favourite expression is, “I’m a big girl!” Her vice is her dependency on her 30 soothers. While on the ferry she has a mini accident, but no soother can be found. This experience inspires Molly to be a big girl and give up her soothers to the soother fairy.

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The cover for the children's story "Mini Might Merry Molly"

The front cover of Mini Mighty Merry Molly

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Inspiration for the Story

This story was inspired by our adorable neighbour Molly. We met Molly when Michael and Ann Sofie moved next door to our townhouse  on Bear Mountain. Molly was under two. We quickly became friends with the family. Given that they were new to Canada, and their family was back in Europe, and I was missing teaching the wee ones, our support evolved into periodically babysitting or engaging in fun learning activities. We revelled in our let’s pretend we are grandparents, lol.

We were particularly struck by Molly’s maturity and resilience at such a young age. It was mind blowing to watch her learn two languages. As mentioned in the story, she at her young age ate proficiently with cutlery, exhibited exemplary gross motor skills riding her bike, a scooter plus she could balance on narrow beams, catch a ball and showed exceptional fine motor skills in her detailed drawings. She at a very young age took to colour and design through her fashion choices. She was and still is extremely good-natured. Although resilient and adaptable, Molly is no push over when she is committed to a goal or an idea, she will stand her ground.

Her one vulnerable spot, weakness if you want to call it that, was her attachment to her soothers. Yes, she had at least thirty of them. One day I was visiting and saw the whole assortment washed and laid out on the counter drying. In time Anne Sofie was pregnant with their second child. Michael and Anne Sofie were thinking that it was approaching time to encourage Molly to give  up her soothers. Consequently, Anne Sofie introduced the soother fairy.

It is this family’s story that inspired this story. Molly will always be our ‘pretend grand-daughter’ and have a special place in our hearts.

Mark & Keith taking in the views

About the Illustrator

Mark Rolston became Mary Catherine Rolston’s Elf King May 21, 1983. He spent 44 years as an insurance claims specialist. As an avid sports fan, he is a walking sport trivia reference bank. He is passionate about the game of golf. Since retiring and moving out to Vancouver Island in 2016, he has worked on perfecting his game. When their eldest had his First Communion, Mark drew an adorable stick figure sketch of Matt praying. Since then, for years MC has encouraged Mark to engage in painting and sketching. Although he did produce a couple other sketches, it wasn’t until the move to the island that Mark began to investigate and play with his inner creativity. You can see more of his journey by watching I’m Not An Artist on YouTube.

Since fully retiring the summer of 2021, he took on the project of digitally illustrating Mini Mighty Merry Molly with his endearing stick figures.

Guide for Reading: PRC

Predictions, Reflections and Connections


Predicting is an essential tool when developing as a strong reader. This story has been written to hook the young audience in engaging in predictable events.

Ask the following questions:

Do you think Molly has a weakness? If so, what might it be?

How many soothers do you think that Molly owns?

What do you think happens when Molly can’t find a soother?

Do you think her parents will find the soother on the ferry?

What might stop Molly from crying when they can’t find a soother?

Will Molly give up her soothers?

What will Molly do when she finds the lost soothers?


Reflecting throughout a book makes the story extra personal and come alive. It reflects a reader’s level of comprehension. A more thoughtful and complex reflection and connection reveal a higher understanding of the story. They also help reinforce one’s memory sequence which forms the basis of a retelling with more detail and reference to nuance. A simple and literal retelling reflects a more simplistic understanding.

Use the following questions for points of discussion:

Describe Molly.

What are Molly’s strengths and what are her weaknesses?

What does Molly do to show she is a big girl at the start of the story?

What does Molly do to show she is a big girl after she meets the teenager?

What does molly do to prove she is a big girl at the end of the story/

How many soothers does Molly have?

Why does Molly use her soothers?

Does she need them, wnat them or both?

Do Molly’s parents depend on the soothers? Why?

Why are Molly’s parents in a panic when they can’t find her soothers?

Does giving up her soothers require Molly to have courage? Why or why not?


Making connections facilitates a deeper understanding of a story through making inferences, noting details and relating them to prior information. It is seeing, linking, and articulating other topics and events to the story. The reader is applying this reading experience to other learned information. Often when making connections the reader will arrive at exciting new insights that extend beyond the literal story.

Use the following questions for points of discussion:

Have you ever had something that helps you calm down or secure?

Did you use soothers? How many did you have?

Can you think of another story where the main character showed courage giving up something?

Have you ever experienced giving up something special like soothers or a special blanket?

How did it feel?

Have you ever been caught trying to hide something like Molly was hiding her found soothers, then had to tell the truth?

Additional Resources

Math – Language Literacy Link

Look at this chart. What pattern does it reflect?

1 1 dime + 1 flower
2 2 dimes + 2 flowers
3 3 dimes + 3 flowers
4 4 dimes + 4 flowers
5 5 dimes + 5 flowers
6 6 dimes + 6 flowers
7 7 dimes + 7 flowers
How many soothers were given away in total? How much money had Molly made after the seventh day?
Additional Questions

Why were two soothers found under the bed?

How much money did Molly make total after she gave up the final 2 soothers?


Patterning for Preschoolers

Taken from the conclusion of this study:

The finding that cognitive flexibility is an underlying factor for some patterning performance may influence future work on patterning instruction. It is known that patterning facilitates later mathematics performance and is related to some early reading skills (cf. reviews by Burgoyne et al., 2017; Pasnak, 2017). Elementary school curricula already place emphasis on detecting patterns. The present results suggest that educators may find it beneficial to also place emphasis on the switching component of completing the patterning tasks. For number-specific patterns, teachers may stress the importance of mentally manipulating the number sequence in one’s mind to complete the pattern.