Sunday 28 June 2015

Mum And Dad Glue

Mom and Dad Glue

A story about parental separation.


Book Details
Author : Kes Gray
Illustrator: Lee Wildish
First published 2009, this edition (paperback) published 2010, Hodder  Children’s Books
 Library copy reviewed

Story Description
Back of book: A little boy searches for a pot of parent glue to stick his mum and dad’s marriage back together. But he soon realises that even though his parents may be broken, their love for him is not. Brilliantly told by award-winning author Kes Gray, it’s message will help mend a child’s feelings.
An incredibly powerful book…I defy you to read this without a lump in your throat” Kate Skipper, Waterstone’s.

As described in it’s blurb, ‘Mum & Dad Glue’  is the touching story of a little boy who desperately wants to mend his parent’s marriage-thinking some special glue might do the trick.

He visits the glue shop where there are rows and rows of the sticky stuff. Overwhelmed and unsure as to whether  he will find what he needs, a shop assistant called Mavis comes to his aid (we only see Mavis’ name tag & her shop coat.)  And so, this kind stranger offers some gentle advice about accepting change and looking to the future. She helps the boy realise that his parents will love him no matter what - their love comes with ' a life time guarantee.'

The book ends with the little boy reflecting on Mavis’ words-  he decides he will try to accept this family change and learn to be hopeful for what the future holds. 

The illustrations are bright and attractive, while at the same time capturing the isolation a child may feel during parental separation. They put 'breaking up’ into a visual context with some images appearing broken.

Why I like this Book:

The text on the first page spread reads:

My mum and dad are broken,
I don’t know what to do.
My mum and dad have come undone,
I need to find some glue.

On reading these four lines, I was immediately drawn into the book, feeling a little tug of sadness in my heart.
Not only were the words emotive, their poetic flow and rhythm were also captivating.
Bright illustrations showed a young boy outside his home, with the family car parked out front, the pet cat nearby, a skate board and a football. A typical childhood scene, but with  stark differences- some of the pictures  were broken, literally cracked in half- giving a visual sense of  how sometimes life can feel like it’s falling apart.

And, in it’s lovely lilting text, we hear about the feelings of this young boy as he experiences parental separation. Childhood loneliness, self blame, denial, hope and confusion are all a part of this story. Big emotions, beautifully woven into a simple, heartfelt poem- perfectly written  from a child’s point of view.

Lying in his big bed and sitting on the large sofa, the illustrations put ‘loneliness’ into a visual context. We see the child sitting alone in the school yard as he says  'Lots of parents separate, But no, no no! Not mine!’  And, throughout the story, the element of  'breaking up’  is tangible  in the pictures. On one hand it seems that the world is carrying on as normal, yet everywhere, things seem to be a little bit broken- the sun is shining, but it’s cracked in half, the street lamps are lit but they are rickety and unstable, the school wall is standing, but it’s cracked in the middle. The illustrations show how our feelings are present no matter where we are and how emotions can transcend in to many aspects of our lives.

Mom and Dad Glue

Wildish gives a visual sense of 'Breaking Up', capturing how a child may feel  that  the  whole world is falling apart when their parent's separate.

Importantly though, the boy is not alone- we hear of some comforting words from his parents, some practical advice from his peers and we see that, throughout the story, his lovely pet cat is always by his side. However, it is the words of Mavis, that help the boy to accept his situation.She advises that families can live apart and explains that, no matter what, his parent’s love for him is guaranteed for a life time.

In short:
This is a beautifully written and illustrated book , offering support around parental separation. It’s rhythmic text perfectly captures the feelings of a child, while the illustrations convey emotions in a visual sense.
A truly special book and a supportive tool for children, parents & professionals.

                                     See my video review here (under my previous name!)

Happy reading, 

Missus B

Looking for more support or information for your child? Check out these helpful resources:
Barnardos Publication Free Download: Coping with Separation Info for Parents
Barnardos Publication Free Download Coping with Separation - Info for children
More info/ resources around separation and divorce at Kids

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buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

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