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The Illustrated Mum (2000)

The Illustrated Mum (2000)

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3.71 of 5 Votes: 1
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0440863686 (ISBN13: 9780440863687)

About book The Illustrated Mum (2000)

....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 1200 (or so) books thirteen times and yet ceases to impress me? I’ll tell you. She’s a British lady. 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: since the 70s, she has been writing short, accessible, encouraging yet realistic books about kids and teens in really tough situations. I ended up gobbling down six more Wilson’s books (that’s all my American library had) before laying out my judgement, and the topics that sampling covered (some of her most lauded, included) were being a foster care child, having a parent with a mental disorder, dealing with the death of a friend, going through parental divorce, being a twin, and being abandoned by your parents.I can’t help but keep thinking about the comment I received about my book from Zack Smith at the local paper: “I’m just going to say it: More coming-of-age novels need stuff like this. Estranged parents and soured relationships can only take you so far.” And yet, I think that Wilson’s books, with their accessibility and their very real and positive outlook, are also important to children. And I don’t know who benefits more: kids who can relate to this stuff, or kids who can learn compassion and understanding. (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: Dustbin Baby, 2001 The Illustrated Mum, 1999 Double Act, 1995 The Story of Tracy Beaker, 1991 The Suitcase Kid, 1992 Vicky Angel, 2001 Girls in Tears, 2002In the end, these books are not really my cup o’ tea, although there was some fun in breezing through them and analyzing them together. And really, I can see the merits of them. Really. 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. She understands kids–and these kinds of kids (/preteens/teens)–unlike any other author (or even person) I have ever read (met).Six random observations: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. 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. That’s all.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. Got it?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.Five, occasionally Wilson’s books bring up the occult or witchcraft, and not necessarily in a fantasy way. I believe she regards it as a type of play-acting, but the line is a thin one. Several of her characters imagine themselves using magic to change things around them or even hurt others. One of the characters imagines a friend who is an “ace” at the occult (turning into a vampire, etc.). Also, Christian belief is seen more in negative terms. The kid characters tend to view religion as worthless and even mock it, while the only positive religious character I read in Wilson’s books was sort of flaky about her religious affiliation to the point that you eventually forgot she was a Christian. (I only just now remembered her because the description of her stiff collar clashing with her lively pants was a stand-out.)Six, there are movies. I have not seen any of them yet, and have no idea about their availability stateside, but I plan to look into it.The Illustrated Mum is a fascinating book for me, not least of all because I too have a family member with bipolar disorder. I found it to be part of the new language and dialogue about this and similar illnesses, where they focus more on the positive elements of the bipolar (or autistic or ADHD or whatever) personality. Being as that may, the mother was an entrancing character, and the struggles of the family so honest and accurate. Besides the slightly cheesy last paragraph, I found this book much better than the first.....REVIEW FROM THE STARVING ARTIST

The Illustrated Mum – Jacqueline WilsonJacqueline Wilson is a national treasure and when I was young she was very popular among children. Wilson’s stories deal with the issues that vulnerable or socially disadvantaged children face. The Illustrated Mum is one of Wilson’s more serious texts but still remains extremely relatable to children. The text contains a lot of imagery and imagination, told in first person by Dol the main character, who is dealing with her sister going away to live with her dad and her mum’s mental illness. Wilson is able to create an interesting contrast between Dol’s vivacious imagination with the stark reality of her mum’s illness. I would use this book in KS2 for advanced readers as it would require a certain emotional understanding as well as high level of reading comprehension. The book starts on Marigold’s birthday who is Dol’s mum, and it discreetly highlights the family situation and the difficulties they face. Wilson goes into great detail in the story, especially with her descriptions. The text contains elaborate detail that can be used as an example for descriptive writing and as a challenge for advanced readers. The story contains elaborate detail that will develop children’s ability to conceptualise, as Wilson uses Dol’s feelings and thoughts to develop the story. The description and detail that Wilson uses also appeals to children’s imagination and asks them to think beyond a basic interpretation of the text. The text also contains a lot of imagery which appeals to the minds of young readers, as Wilson’s writing is creative and imaginative and readers feel intrigued by the story.Wilson also deals well with the emotional issues that occur in this text. As she manages to display the seriousness of Marigold’s mental illness and the impact it has on Dol, but in a way that is easily accessible to the readers. Wilson does this by blending the harsh reality of the situation with Dol’s playful imagination. This gives the book a light hearted undertone, enabling the children to understand the harsh issues in a way that children can relate to. Wilson does this in a way that allows the children to develop a deeper understanding of Dol’s self-esteem issues. Particularly when Dol has a dream were her and her sister are on a dust cart, and she gets thrown out whilst Star is cherished and saved by the dustbin man. Wilson’s portrayal of Dol’s self-esteem problems is highlighted in a way that children can relate to it as it is shown through her imagination rather than explicitly. Although the book does deal with serious issues that most children may not face, there are issues that most children can relate to.I would use this text with a year 6 or year 5 class, it might follow on from a P4C lesson and also relate to citizenship. However I would use this text with caution as it would be for advanced readers in KS2. I would highlight the elements of the book that focus on Dol’s confidence issues and the problems in her life to start of discussions on empathy. I would focus the children’s thinking on trying to understand what they would they have done if they were in Dol’s position, for example how did Marigold’s illness affect Dol and Star and other questions. These questions would have enabled the children to develop their thinking and comprehension of texts by trying to understand the characters actions and how certain events made an impact on that character.

Do You like book The Illustrated Mum (2000)?

This book is pushing a five star rating. I really loved it. I loved how each chapter was named after one of Marigold's tatoos and each tatoo had some significance to that part of the story and Dolphin's life with her mum or her sister, Star. I thought the author's portrayal of this type of mental illness through the character of Marigold was very accurate. This is a serious subject and a serious story, but Wilson makes it very accessible to a younger audience, probably 11 and up I'd say. I loved the illustrations throughout the book. A great read, I didn't ever want to stop reading it :) p.s. In hindsight I've decided to give it five stars. That last little star has been haunting me.

I really enjoyed this book. Marigold has two daughters one who doesn't mind having her as a young mother, but the other one wants to start a life of her own because she is really fed up with having to look after Marigold all the time. So they are searching for their unknown fathers, then they sadly both end up in care while something shocking has happened to Marigold.Dolphin adores her mother, she loves her wavy red hair and her tattoos and she is convinced that she is really good at making up stuff, but Star absolutely hates her tattoos and Marigold drinks a lot of vodka, it really worries Star and she thinks that one day Marigold is going to get seriously ill... I really like Dolphin because she is a good friend to have and is good at making up stories she doesn't seem to not worry a lot because she thinks that Marigold is a good mother, Star has other ideas about her.

Dolphin and her sister (Star) always have to takecare of their mother. With swirling tattos and bright orange hair Marigold, their mother, dosen't know right from wrong. Star thinks she is irresponsible but Dolphin thinks she is wonderful,but when someone arrives everything goes downhill from there. The Illustrated Mum is full of drama and realistic-fiction. This book is better than worse but it's not one of my favorites. This book is full of a possible real life senario. I would recommend this book to any one who wants, well, drama. I guess it would be okay if you just wanted to read a book, though that option wouldn't be mine. Though who knows, different books fit different people.

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