The Illustrated Mum


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Family bookclub: Jacqueline Wilson's The Illustrated Mum

First up, I loved the title. I was tickled pink by this fresh badge for a heavily-tattooed individual. It immediately flooded my mind with images of a lean young woman whose pale skin was totally blanketed by inked crosses, cryptic motifs and a host of Celtic symbols. And the story itself floods you with a bucket load of emotion. She has two young daughters Star and Dolphin, both from First up, I loved the title. She has two young daughters Star and Dolphin, both from different fathers.

You expect the story to be about a fiercely independent heroine who fights against a disapproving society so that she can raise her daughters in the way that she wants them to be raised. You expect the pages to be bursting with flower-power and righteous indignation. Sadly, life is rarely a walk down a garden path. Marigold suffers from Manic-Depression. She refuses to believe that she has a problem and the possibility of taking treatment is a non-existent option.

But getting used to something does not necessarily mean that you are resigned to it and willing to accept it with a weary roll of your eyes. Marigold parties hard, gets herself inked at regular intervals, pulls all-nighters with random men, drinks indiscriminately and leaves behind a sorry train-wreck for her daughters. Dolphin , on the other hand, still loves her mother to distraction.

She adores her brightly coloured, covered-like-a-comic-strip parent. She cherishes the little gestures Marigold makes in her brief moments of sanity. Dolphin loves Star too and though the sibling affection is reciprocated, things will soon come to an ugly head. In The Illustrated Mum , she tackles a grave issue and leaves you with a sizeable knot in your throat. The comical quips were few, but the author makes you ache for Dolphin and her earnestness.

Dolphin is no different. She raises all your dormant maternal instincts and makes you want to crush her in a big, squishy comforting hug.

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My only grouse was with the abrupt ending. It felt like a cop-out. And yet, you clamber on till the end since you want a happy-ending for Dolphin. Oct 22, Codie Austin rated it really liked it. For example, Marigold steals, or at least has in the past stolen, some credit cards. Also, Dolphin shows some traits of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - presumably the only way she can find control in her life. It was also quite difficult to read as my Mum suffered with depression when I was a child, so some parts were particularly relatable although thankfully not all! Feb 06, Laura rated it it was amazing Shelves: This is possibly one of my very favourite Wilson books.

Like most of her books, I read it many times as a child. Looking back as an adult, it's clear the mother is living with some form of mental illness, most likely bipolar disorder. As a child reading this, and from the perspective of the child from which this book is written, all you understand is that Mum is quite impulsive and a little bit weird. She isn't like a normal mum, there's often little money to buy the things the two daughters Do This is possibly one of my very favourite Wilson books.

She isn't like a normal mum, there's often little money to buy the things the two daughters Dolphin and Star need. Mum is instead very good at telling stories and coming up with fun things to do. As with all mental illness, living with someone affected has its downsides. I was impressed on how Wilson challenged the stereotypes surrounding mental health issues. Mum isn't crazy, she's just wired differently. That doesn't make her a bad person does it? May 16, Chetana rated it it was amazing. Re-read this book for the nth time. That Jacqueline Wilson is such an underrated children's book author, continues to surprise me.

Her depiction of dysfunctional, broken families - in this book, it was that the tattooed single mum who is manic depressive but very loving - is refreshingly honest and real. Though these families are extremes, the emotional roller coaster that they encounter is so familiar. Giving this a five for both the story and Wilson. Sep 08, Jade Singleton rated it it was amazing. The Illustrated Mum is the story of ten year old Dolphin and her life living with Mum, Marigold and older sister, Star. Marigold is not your average Mum. She does not work, is covered in tattoos and likes to party.

Marigold, Dolphin and Star live together in a run-down flat and the story, which is told by Dolphin, describes her life growing up. Dolphin is very naive and although she realises that her mother is different to others, she always sees the good side. She is very innocent compared to he The Illustrated Mum is the story of ten year old Dolphin and her life living with Mum, Marigold and older sister, Star.


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She is very innocent compared to her older sister,Star. Star is a young teen with little patience for her Mum's behaviour. She often argues with Marigold, and Dolphin often feels caught in the middle. I have read this book as a child and i'm now reading it again. I love this book as it is so easy to develop Dolphin's character in your mind and fall in love with her innocence.

The book really enables you to see beyond a typical middle-class family, and demonstrates how important a family bond is no matter what background. I would recommend this book for children aged and would suggest it for independent reading in a year six classroom. I do think however, that this book for appeal more to girls.

Family bookclub: Jacqueline Wilson's The Illustrated Mum - Telegraph

This book is a great read and will evoke laughter and maybe even tears. Jun 01, Kate Lillytales rated it liked it Shelves: Jacqueline Wilson was one of my all-time favourite authors during childhood and I picked up the Illustrated Mum again as a bit of an experiment. I wanted to read it from an adult perspective as I remember being a little upset by it as a child. Dolphin and Star spend a lot of time worrying about Marigold as s Jacqueline Wilson was one of my all-time favourite authors during childhood and I picked up the Illustrated Mum again as a bit of an experiment.

Dolphin and Star spend a lot of time worrying about Marigold as she drinks a bit too much, continues to spend money they don't have on tattoos and she is continuously searching to reclaim her relationship with Star's father, Mickey. I think it's fantastic how Jacqueline Wilson gives children a different perspective on family structures.

A common theme throughout all of her books is the idea of diverse families with real-life problems. I think it's really important for children to have access to a diverse range of stories surrounding family and Wilson's books are a vital role in showing that growing up isn't always peachy keen. Sometimes children are forced unwillingly into adult roles and this is a story of love, endurance and the power of empathy.


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Mar 12, Lucy Baldock rated it really liked it. I enjoyed this it was an easy book to read. I'll be studying this on my children's literature course and I think this is a great book for children to read in the respect that they can learn a lot about functional families, the way kids are treated at school, and question what a good parent is. However I don't know if younger children would fully understand that the mother has manic depression.

There is also a mention of Dolphin having Dyslexia and it doesn't really go into depth about what this I enjoyed this it was an easy book to read. There is also a mention of Dolphin having Dyslexia and it doesn't really go into depth about what this means and how she struggles with this compared to other children I would have liked to have seen that explored more. Also the ending is very unresolved we don't know where the daughters end up throughout it all which I personally would have liked to have seen.

Overall it was a good children's book though. Jun 26, Devon Flaherty rated it liked it. I had a week before me, during which I was planning and packing for a very big trip, two thick books lined up in the queue which would be the wooden box between my front door and the couch , and Dustbin Baby already read. I was not that impressed, and took a stroll through the giant spreadsheet of my Best Books to Read, where I found a total of twelve more Jacqueline Wilson books.

I was not pumped. But I was surprised. Who is this Jacqueline Wilson character that she makes the top or s Who is this Jacqueline Wilson character that she makes the top or so books thirteen times and yet ceases to impress me? She has written over sixty-one YA books.

She is now some sort of tour de force, complete with a whole online wonderland of games and information, as well as more than a few books-to-movies. She became popular after something like thirty books, when she wrote The Story of Tracy Beaker. Her popularity is thanks almost entirely to the people of England. And here is her schtick: More coming-of-age novels need stuff like this. Estranged parents and soured relationships can only take you so far. On the other hand, I think romps into light, airy, and imaginary worlds is also good food for the developing mind.

These are the books I read some of them in an afternoon , in this order: And really, I can see the merits of them. Writing-wise, they were unspectacular. Wilson sticks to such straight-forward vocabulary that it can grow flat. At no time was I transported to a grassy hillside. While her characters are rounded out nicely, her plots I think because of the featureless writing style leave you wishing for more. With all these terrible, real-life situations and triumphant endings, I ended the last page of the last book wondering why my heart had not soared nor one lonely tear come to my eye.

However, the ideas behind the books are solid, and the insight, empathy, and tact with which she writes about them are spot-on. One, I absolutely love the way so many of her main characters see themselves in such negative terms including, of course, their appearance, but also often their behavior or even just unrealistic terms, but Wilson never takes the easy way out explaining and patronizing about how they really are beautiful or slender or kind or whatever. The character always slowly, and in a very understated way, discovers something redeemable about themselves, for themselves, and with the tender help of one compassionate person.

We need not cue the sappy music. Two, these books are for girls.

Jacqueline Wilson's The Illustrated Mum Part 9

Out of the seven I read, not one of them would be of too much interest to a boy. They were all about girls and written to girls. Three, part of how Wilson does her Wilson-thing is using illustrations by Nick Sharrat and other story-telling devices. Yeah, lots of YA books these days use them, too. Like Captain Underpants and Origami Yoda. Wilson uses different techniques in each book, like telling the story through a journal, or starting each chapter with a letter of the alphabet, or hanging the storyline in the structure of a walk through town. Four, I also love that she is honest about how kids perspectives are often skewed, especially in that they are often attached where it is unsafe and repelled where it would be good.

So many times, her heroine clung to an unhealthy relationship because it was familiar, justifying behaviors and running an internal dialogue of excuses, or separated themselves unwisely from people that could have offered them much better than they were already getting. We adults could take a hint, too.

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