Monday 18 March 2013

The Scar

The Scar by Charlotte Moundlic, illustrated by Oliver Tallec (Walker Books)
PB RRP $15.95
ISBN 9781406344158
Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis

This brilliant and moving book has been produced as a resource for bereaved children. The flooding of bright red for most of the book’s illustrations, including the covers, is a strong metaphor for the anger experienced by a child at the loss of a parent.

The child has lost his mother after an illness. How will he keep his thoughts and memories of her? He closes the windows so he can retain her smell; to be able to ‘keep breathing mum in’. When he falls and hurts his knee, he picks at the scab to keep it bleeding for it is then he can hear his mother’s voice comforting him.

He needs to care for his father, who doesn’t know how to cook his toast, who he sees as abandoned by his mother, and who when cries, is like ‘a flannel, all crumpled and wet’.

Then Grandma arrives. She knows about loss, for she has lost her child. She shows the boy why his mother will always be with him, and he and the father are comforted.

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