Mum and Dad Glue by Kes Gray and Lee Wildish

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Mum and Dad Glue by Kes Gray and Lee Wildish

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Buy Mum and Dad Glue by Kes Gray and Lee Wildish at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Keith Dudhnath
Reviewed by Keith Dudhnath
Summary: A sensitive and helpful message book about a young child trying to come to terms with his parents' divorce. Lee Wildish's illustrations are particularly lovely.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Maybe
Pages: 32 Date: October 2009
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0340957103

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A young boy's parents are splitting up. He's going through the usual emotions that children of divorce go through: worry, feeling unsure, blaming himself, anger, denial, and then trying to get them to stay together. His method for this isn't the usual response though: he looks for glue to stick his mum and dad together. Thankfully, he finds some wise and kindly advice in the process.

Mum and Dad Glue is very much a message book, and is aimed squarely at young children in the exact same situation as the unnamed hero. Divorce is a tricky time for children, and the message is always the same: it's not you and mum and dad will always love you. They hear it often from all sorts of sources, family, friends, TV, books. There's no real way of knowing when it'll click with them and help them understand and feel a little better about it, but Mum and Dad Glue is a fine addition to the kindly voices trying to make them come to terms with the situation. It offers a slightly different approach, but the core theme is exactly as you'd expect, and rightly so.

It's not really a book that young children who aren't going through divorcing parents would want to read - it'd ask more questions than it asks. Its narrow audience is why I've only said maybe to whether you should buy or borrow it. On its own terms, it's an ideal book, but it's not a picture book for general reading - not that it aims to be. One or two of the rhymes are a little stiff, but not to any great detriment.

Lee Wildish's illustrations are lovely. The characters have a rough charm that really draws you in - there are hints of Quentin Blake's ink drawings, but Wildish's style is very much of its own. I particularly liked the way he's shown all the cracks appearing in the young boy's world. It might be an obvious metaphor, but it perfectly captures the feelings that children might be having, without being melodramatic or scary. I can't wait to see more of his illustrations in picture books.

If you know of young children going through divorce, my sympathies. Mum and Dad Glue is a kindly voice that will hopefully make them understand and feel a little better. Recommended.

My thanks to the publishers for sending it to Bookbag.

Every Second Friday by Kiri Lightfoot and Ben Galbraith is another message book about divorce, this time dealing with children getting used to having two different homes. Molly and her Dad by Jan Ormerod and Carol Thompson includes similar themes. We Are Wearing Out The Naughty Step by Mick Inkpen gently touches on issues further down the line, when potential step-families are cropping up.

Buy Mum and Dad Glue by Kes Gray and Lee Wildish at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Mum and Dad Glue by Kes Gray and Lee Wildish at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Mum and Dad Glue by Kes Gray and Lee Wildish at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Mum and Dad Glue by Kes Gray and Lee Wildish at Amazon.com.

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