Molly and the Lockdown

Molly and the Lockdown
Malachy Doyle and Andrew Whitson
Graffeg

Molly and her mum and dad are island dwellers only now Dad is stuck on the mainland because the island – like many other parts of the world – is in lockdown. Inevitably Molly misses her dad who is staying with her Uncle Ed, though she talks to him on the phone and promises to do everything she can to help her mum.

Despite all the precautions taken, the virus reaches the island making a few people so sick they have to be taken to the mainland hospital.

With her mum assisting Nurse Ellen, there’s plenty to keep Molly busy. She does almost all the jobs around the house, cares for the dog and the hens, and makes masks for the islanders.

The lockdown drags on. School is closed so Molly chats with her friends on the phone, reads and rereads her books, does her jigsaws super fast, improves her fiddle playing and hears her Uncle Ed’s bagpipes in the background whenever her Dad rings.

Eventually school reopens, albeit with precautionary measures in place, they hear good news about a vaccine

and finally, everybody goes down to the harbour to welcome home Molly’s father – hurrah!

Most of us have experienced a spirit of community during the last year: this is encapsulated in Malachy Doyle’s story of the lockdown, COVID 19 and the affects on a particular family and their small community. Molly’s anxiousness and concern – feelings that so many children have suffered – comes across clearly in Andrew Whitson’s, richly patterned illustrations. So too does the wonderful warmth of the islanders coping as best they can with the crisis.

An ideal book for sharing with children as we begin to emerge from the restrictions; it offers a great opportunity for them to talk of their own experiences and to share future hopes.

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