Mum and Dad Glue
By Kes Gray and Lee Wildish, Hodder Children’s Books, 2000.
‘A little boy searches for a pot of parent glue to stick his mum and dad’s marriage back together. But he soon realises that even though his parents may be broken, their love for him is not.’
Mum and Dad Glue is a clever rhyming story of the little boy’s journey to the realisation that, while he can’t put his parents back together, he can still be happy. In the early pages, the illustrations show cracks through everything; the car, the soccer ball, the skateboard, the house, and the brick wall. The words read, ‘Mum and dad are broken…’
The little boy engages on a mission to find a glue that he can use to fix his parents. You can feel the desperation of the child who is frantically trying to think of ways to mend his parent’s marriage. The gentle rhyme helps in softening an often difficult and painful subject for your child.
A common thing that we see with children of broken marriages is that the child often blames themselves. This little boy is no different. He battles with wondering if he is the reason why. And then he meets Mavis. Mavis is the owner of the glue shop, and she helps him to understand that sometimes things change, and that’s ok. They just become a different kind of normal.
Simple yet accessible drawings are soft and textured, and the ‘break’ in all everyday items is a common thread through many of the earlier pages.
Mum and Dad Glue is a story of overcoming fear and the uncertainty of change.
‘The more I’ll come to terms with things, the less it will seem wrong.’
Through all the change, he learns to remember that his parents may not be together, but they both still love him just the same, and it’s not anyone’s fault and no-one is to blame. Mavis is the life-changing moment in this little boy’s life.
Winner: Red House Children’s Book Award, 2013.