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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Missing Mummy, written and illustrated by Rebecca Cobb. Macmillan, Harper Canada. 2011. $19.99 ages 3 and up

"I feel so scared because I don't
think she is coming back.

And then I feel angry because I
really want her to come back."

I have not seen other work by Rebecca Cobb but I hope to see more since reading this quietly powerful book about the loss of a parent. It is told entirely through the eyes of a young child and rings with authenticity.

The young boy was there when everyone said goodbye; he is unsure where she has gone. He has looked for her everywhere and has only found her 'things'. He is sad, and scared and even mad about it all. He doesn't like that other kids have their mums. So, he asks his Dad about Mummy.

His father tells him straight that she cannot come back, that it was nothing he did and that Dad shares his son's wish for her to be back with them. He reassures the little one that they are still a family and that photos and stories will remind them of Mummy, and that they will work together to help each other as Mummy always helped them.

It is a poignant and beautifully told story, full of sadness and honesty and ending with a feeling that all will be well at some point in the future...

The accompanying art tells all that the words do not say. The rain-filled sky and the umbrella  parade that protects those attending the funeral show Dad holding the little one while hugging the older daughter. The search for Mum has the boy looking inside, outside, in his parents' bedroom (where Dad is sitting on the bed and crying). Each helps the reader understand the changes wrought by the loss. There is beauty, warmth and tiny touches of humor as the family learns to cope.

Worthy of your attention, it is an honest and real book to share with the young.

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