Friday, May 4, 2012

The Scar by Charlotte Moundlic, illustrated by Olivier Tallec.

A young boy knows what dead is. He knows that’s what happening to his mother. But when the time comes, he struggles to deal with his grief – and looking after his bereft father. He’s afraid of losing his mother – so he keeps the windows shut, although it’s summer, to keep her smell inside. When he grazes his knee, he can hear her voice, so he keeps picking the scab off, to keep it bleeding, and his mother’s voice there. Then, one day, he realises the scab has gone and turned into a scar – like his grief. Simple cartoonlike illustrations, with a limited colour palette, are skilfully used to enhance the emotions of the characters.

A stunning picture book. I have read A LOT of books about death and grief – but this is one of the most powerful ones I know of. It is raw, and true, and so very real.

Some other stunning picture books about death and grief are:

  • The very best of friends by Margaret Wild, illustrated by Julie Vivas.
  • Remembering Mum by Ginny Perkins.
  • Tom’s story by Mandy Hager.
  • Bear and the Wildcat by Kazumi Yumoto.
  • The sunshine cat by Miriam Moss.
  • No matter what by Debi Gliori.
Reviewed by Thalia.

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