Parents can spend storytime telling their kids how special and unique they are while reading A Place for Mulan together. This new picture book from Disney Press was inspired by the new live-action adaptation of Mulan, which opens with a scene of young Mulan getting in trouble for being too adventurous. On every page of this book, young Mulan does something inherent to her nature that goes against the grain of societal expectations.
Mulan knows she’s not like other girls and it bothers her. She has a hard time fitting in or paying attention to tasks like weaving and calligraphy, daydreaming and preferring to spend more time with her horse, Blackwind. Other parents in the village express their concerns and her mother is always making excuses for her. Brought to tears, her father takes her outside and uses types of plants to teach her about how she’s unique and special and shouldn’t be ashamed of that.
A Place for Mulan may be based on the live-action film, but it incorporates a moment from the animated feature that is absent in the remake. When you see the film, you won’t see the iconic scene where Mulan and her father sit underneath a pink magnolia tree. That flowering tree comes into play in this book, which nicely connects the animated classic to the new adaptation.
Written by Marie Chow, A Place for Mulan is all about celebrating the things that make you special. Every child is unique in their own way. Some learn at a different pace, some have shorter attention spans, some have peculiar interests, or some have a harder time managing their emotions. Parents can use this story about young Mulan to not only make them feel better about the things that make them different, but also to show them that Mulan grew up to be a hero thanks to her uniqueness.
The art comes from Chinese artist Jasper Shaw, who uses watercolor styles to set the scene. His artwork feels like a mix of traditional Chinese methods married with more modern charms. In particular, I see bits of Mary Blaire’s it’s a small world style incorporated into the pages.
A Place for Mulan by Marie Chow with illustrations by Jasper Shaw is a perfect addition to your storytime or bedtime book rotation. It nicely bridges the gap between the animated film and the upcoming live-action adaptation, but more importantly, it’s a book about how special your child is. Share it with them and appreciate how special they are every day.
Alex has been blogging about Disney films since 2009 after a lifetime of fandom. He joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and covers films across all of Disney’s brands, including Star Wars, Marvel, and Fox, in addition to books, music, toys, consumer products, and food. You can hear his voice as a member of the Laughing Place Podcast and his face can be seen on Laughing Place’s YouTube channel where he unboxes stuff.