BooksforTopics Reading for Pleasure Recommendations
Book Title: Me and Mrs Moon (available here)
Author: Helen Bate
Publisher: Otter-Barry Books
Publication Date: May 2019
Most Suitable For: KS2
Reviewed by: Caroline Wood (@seawoodwrites), Library Manager
Me and Mrs Moon is a sweet graphic novel introducing the theme of dementia. Dementia is becoming a growing issue for adults working with young children, from the confusion of not knowing why a relative or family friend is behaving strangely, to the upheaval of them entering a care home or moving away or even become carers themselves. Although there are a number of good novels aimed at KS2/3 on this theme this is the first I’ve seen for younger children or children who may not be able to sit with a full-length book. I think it’s a book every pastoral lead needs to have in their collection, particularly at primary level.
Main characters Maisie and Dylan are around upper KS2 age and Mrs Moon is their childminding neighbour. They are fast friends and when Mrs Moon begins to act strangely, their initial reaction is to hide the problem so that they aren’t taken away from her care. This is a really understandable, realistic reaction and I think it’s handled very well. Gradually the children realise things are getting beyond their capacity; they are shown doing their own research and asking their parents for help.
Mrs Moon’s behaviour is dealt with very gently, but realistically – moving from small incidents such as being confused over time, place and appropriate behaviour right up to a small fire, and readers get a good sense of the children’s worry too.
In the ending of this story, Mrs Moon’s daughter is able to come from Australia and take her mother back there. This isn’t a common route for dementia suffers – whilst it’s lovely that Mrs Moon has family and the ability to move countries in a short space of time, it might have been more relatable to show the transition to a care home or moving in with other relatives. However, the ending gives an opening to talk about what’s going on in the child’s life, since every family is different. Overall I think this a great book for supporting children dealing with dementia and could be used from Y2 upwards into Y8.
Many thanks to the publisher for sending us a review copy of this book and to Review Panel member Caroline for reviewing it.