Thursday 7 June 2012

159. Missing Mummy by Rebecca Cobb

Missing Mummy by Rebecca Cobb
Published June 2012 Macmillan

From the publisher:

 "Some time ago we said goodbye to Mummy. I am not sure where she has gone." Written and illustrated by a new talent in children's picture books, this extraordinary book deals with the loss of a parent from a child's point of view. 

This book, to me, is a perfect book dealing with the death of a Mother.  Not a nice topic, not one that you ever want to have to buy, but we get asked for them all the time, and in many cases, the 'right' book is difficult to find.

This book is aimed at a very young child, with simple text and simple illustrations.  The focus of each page is the image of this one little boy whose Mother has died.  He doesn't understand where she has 'gone', and no matter where he looks, he can't find her.  When his Father explains that she has died, and that means she will never come back the boy goes through a range of emotions, from guilt (was it something he did?), sadness, anger, bewilderment.

The story is sad, but the feeling you are left with is a positive one.  There are even a few humourous images, like the children helping to do jobs that Mum used to do, where they are feeding the cat,  and the 'helping' involves more food ending up on the floor than in the bowl. One of the most important elements of this story is that they recognise that they are still a family, they go out together, play together.  It also shows that he will keep on missing his Mum, but that is OK, and there are things they can do to keep her memory alive, such as look at photos and talk about her.

The illustrations are simple but effective.  The one that stands out for me, is at the funeral, where the colours are all dark, except for this one little boy.  As I said earlier, this is really a book that I hope you never have to buy, but I think it has an important place on a library shelf for a time when someone at your school or community may need it.

It think it's also worth noting that the book has been written with the help and support of  the Child Bereavement Charity in the UK.

Who will like this book: for children age 3+
Read it if you like: 

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