In this debut picture book, a mother reassures her child about her own illness.
Slade tells a story of a sick mother helping her young son understand her treatment. She tells him that “Mummy” must visit many doctors; she’ll be tired and might be sad or angry; she’ll sometimes stay overnight at the hospital; and she’ll look different. But in each case, the narrator assures her child that she loves him, and that when she’s better, they’ll have fun. “I love you,” she repeats, and concludes, “I know you still love me”—even if he feels sad or angry, too. In Majan’s (Aidyn the Magical Frangipani Tree, 2018, etc.) somewhat stiffly posed illustrations of a Caucasian family, the mother appears fairly robust, even when her hair has fallen out. One nice feature is how the boy’s stuffed bunny appears in every scene and often echoes his moods. Another good idea is how the mother offers alternatives; for instance, although Mummy can’t play on the floor, she can still read books in a chair. The book’s affectionate tone is evident, and Slade echoes professional advice about expressing hope and soothing fears. However, Slade doesn’t have the mother use the word “cancer” or reassure the child that the illness isn’t his fault, which experts also recommend.
Warmhearted and sensitive, although it could be more complete.