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GOODBYE MOG by Judith Kerr


by Judith Kerr & illustrated by Judith Kerr

Pub Date: March 15th, 2003
ISBN: 0-00-714968-9
Publisher: HarperCollins UK/Trafalgar

Readers who remember Mog from Kerr’s long popular and recently reissued Mog the Forgetful Cat will be both happy and sad to see this final episode in the long series by the British author/illustrator. As the title, cover art (Mog floating in a starry sky), and opening sentences (“Mog was tired. She was dead tired . . . I want to sleep for ever”) not too subtly foreshadow, Mog is ready to die. Being a curious cat, a part of her “stayed awake” to see what would happen in the Thomas house. After a period of mourning, Mrs. Thomas brings home a kitten that has a hard time adjusting. Afraid of newspaper, noise, and being held, it is most comfortable hiding under the couch. It’s a good thing that Mog is still keeping an eye on things. After a brief jealous period, she takes heart (“I knew they’d never manage without me. I’m going in”) and models proper behavior for the kitten, including jumping, hiding under newspapers, and playing with bags. Mog also pushes the still-shy kitten into Debbie Thomas’s arms for some petting, which it discovers it likes. Finally, Rumpus is ready to become the new family pet. Debbie Thomas notes, “I’ll always remember Mog,” and the never-humble Mog leaves this earth thinking, “So I should hope.” Now Mog is able to take the last part of her journey, as “she flew up and up and up and up right into the sun.” Although Mog’s slightly ghost-like celestial presence is easily spotted in each picture and each family member does weep following Mog’s death, there is nothing scary or overwhelmingly morose here. Kerr’s understated humor and cheery, cartoon-like illustrations make the mood more sweet than sentimental or frightening. (Picture book. 4-7)