A little girl struggles to understand how life can carry on after the death of her mother. She and her father find mum’ s jumper as they come to sort through her things. It smells of mum and offers comfort. As time passes, its smell changes and it is washed. But it’s still there- just as mum is everywhere.
This is such a beautiful, powerful book. It tackles the painful subjects of loss and grief with great skill and compassion, offering comfort. The little girl’s voice is full of her raw emotion and takes the reader with her from visiting her mother in hospital, to learning of her death and through her grieving process.
Seeing and hearing the little girl’s reactions to this devastating event really helps encapsulate the confusion and range of emotions that engulf you when you have lost someone. Dad is constantly supportive, but his grief is evident as well. His words are so powerful and honest as he uses the jumper as a metaphor for grief- it will stay the same size, but eventually the child will grow into it. The pain of losing someone doesn’t diminish over time, but it becomes bearable.
The illustrations fit the text perfectly and add much to the narrative. Sharp eyes will note that although the little girl leaves hospital smiling, her father appears weighed down, not noticing mum’s favourite flowers - bright yellow daffodils- which line the streets. These are the same flowers which appear to be overwhelming the little girl as well wishers send condolences that she neither wants nor understands. She clutches a small bunch- the only splash of colour- as the adults console each other at the funeral. As she wears the jumper, she draws, paints and carries daffodils with her, but at the end of the book, it is sunflowers she and dad have grown- tall and strong and beautiful.
‘Mum’s Jumper’ is quite simply a wonderful story.
Mum’s Jumper Jayde Perkin
Book Island ISBN: 978-1911496137