This is a book that explores the nature of grief.
A mother dies but for the child narrator and her dad, life must go on.
Her mother’s absence feels like a dark cloud that is always hovering close by, and makes concentration at school difficult. No matter how kind other people are, the overwhelming feeling is of being alone, angry even, at times.
Her father explains that the constant ache she feels is the way grief engulfs a person who has lost someone very dear to them; he too feels it.
While sorting out her mother’s belongings the girl comes upon a much-loved jumper. Along with her father’s words of solace, it’s adopting that snuggly warm garment that helps her begin to find a way through those dark days.
Grief, Dad says, ‘is like Mum’s jumper. The jumper stays the same size, but I will eventually grow into it.’
After some time, her world does enlarge around her grief and she feels able to put her treasured possession out of sight, safe in the knowledge that it, like her mother, will always be there; for she’s a part of everything and everywhere, and most important she’s there inside forever.
Grief is a very personal thing and Jayde Perkins’ illustrations for this book are heartfelt. (Her own mother died of cancer) and here she puts into her art (and words) some of the feelings that a young grieving child might have.
I’d like to see this ultimately uplifting book in every primary classroom; and I’d definitely offer it to anybody who has, or knows, a young child coping with the loss of a parent or close family member.