Review Blog

Apr 12 2011

Mum and Dad Glue by Kes Gray

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Hodder Children's Books, 2009. ISBN: 9780340957110.
Highly recommended ages 5 and up. When a little boy's parents seem likely to separate he experiences the normal roller coaster of emotions, from concern for his parents to guilt, worry and denial of the inevitable. Consequently, he goes looking for some glue to 'mend them' and fix their marriage. His journey leads him to the adhesive shop owned by a kindly woman. She explains that he is not responsible for his parents' problems and that their love for him will continue no matter what may eventuate. He leaves feeling far more positive and accepting of the situation.
This simple story, told entirely in rhyme, is sensitive and uplifting and would be a great support for any child whose parents are unhappy and contemplating divorce. Lee Wilding's illustrations contain simple character drawings and muted colours, with each picture showing cracks in the pavement, bed, cars and numerous items with which the boy is surrounded. Children in this situation are regularly offered advice by school friends, teachers and other adults. Whether or not the intention is to show the 'glue shop lady' as a psychologist or merely a random adult, the child is encouraged to openly discuss his feelings and hence share the burden and seek help in the healing process.
Many classes focus on different types of families, be they blended, extended or those which fit the traditional mould. This would be another good text to use in resourcing such a unit as well as to assist children whose parents seem likely to separate.
Jo Schenkel

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