“Finding Mummy’s Glow” by Mandy Woolf

“Finding Mummy’s Glow” by Mandy Woolf 819 1024 Reader Views Kids

Finding Mummy’s Glow

Mandy Woolf
The Book Reality Experience (2023)
ISBN: 978-1923020238
Reviewed by Kassia Scotti for Reader Views (11/2023)

Mandy Woolf’s “Finding Mummy’s Glow: A Story of Cancer, Family, and Love” navigates the task of introducing difficult subjects to young children. Noah struggles with the fact that his mother has lost her “glow” due to her cancer. With the help of his teddy bear, he tries to find her glow so he can return it to her again. When all else fails, Noah realizes that the thing that makes his mother glow comes from Noah himself.

I was so deeply moved by this book, not just for its realistic depiction of the confusing nature of childhood innocence, but also for the touching emotion at the heart of the story. Noah’s concern was powerful and gave such a clear sense of the relationship between him and his mother even without seeing many interactions between them. Noah’s struggle to understand what was happening to him is so heartbreaking. Putting a positive spin on Noah’s unfamiliarity with the topic is beneficial to children, as well as parents who are not sure how to approach it.

In the face of hardship, Woolf is showing the natural instinct to make the people we love and care about feel better. However, the everyday, mundane things such as his mother’s garden or her kitchen were not as strong or encouraging as the love Noah has to give. It reinforces to readers that no matter what happens, there is always love.

The illustrations done by Elmira Georgieva are so beautiful, they encapsulate the emotion in the story and the words on the page. The images of the “glow” made it come alive. It also made the return of her glow all the more powerful to see the difference in the before and after. In addition to the illustrations, I also loved the interactive additions at the end of the book that give parents and adults more options and resources for children struggling to cope with illness at such a young age.

Noah turns to his teddy bear for guidance on finding his mother’s glow, which I thought was a clever way to make it so that Noah isn’t alone in dealing with any negative feelings. The overarching themes were also depicted through illustrations on Mr. Snuggles’ stomach, with words such as love, faith, and hope. I especially loved this. It felt like a device used to comfort Noah and readers at the same time. Although these themes are shown through the writing, I only noticed this upon a second read, which is unfortunate because it’s such a sweet detail.

Overall, I couldn’t help but shed a tear for these characters. Their relationship and the bond they share, shown through strong plot points and characters, is very moving. It reminds whoever reads it that we are never alone, and even the dimmest of glows will find a way to shine bright again.

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