Marigold is great at getting tattoos, not so great at anything else. The mother Marigold is covered in tattoos and she always puts her two daughters: Star and Dolphin last. Children may be able to Star’s Dad Micky comes on to the scene and whisks Star (who is the parental figure to both Dolphin and her mum, Marigold) away, leaving Dolphin dealing her poorly mum as well as school bullies and trying to look after herself, despite being only 11. Star and Dolphin definitely love their mum, Marigold, though she's a difficult mum to love. I'm pretty stunned by the middling rating for this book. The story is told from the perspective of the youngest daughter, Dolphin, and her thoughts and interactions with the other characters are insightful and compelling. She feels helpless and alone . The book is quite gloomy however there are many instances where there is humour. This is a book that I’ve reread quite a few times over the years and I knew it was dark, but wow this was dark. Also can Jacqueline Wilson please make a part two for this book ??? Marigold, the illustrated Mum, has bipolar disorder, something which is clear to the reader but pretty much unknown to the girls until the end of the book. This thought-provoking book, which has won several awards including The Guardian Children’s Fiction Award, sensitively deals with the themes of mental illness, alcohol abuse, bullying and family separation, making it a powerful read for children and adults alike.  http://www.theguardian.com/books/childrens-books/video/2011/mar/02/jacqueline-wilson-interview-children-video. Whether it's a neat four member-ed unit or a mother-daughter duo, families _are_ wrung with conflicting feelings of selfishness, irritation, (lack of) respect and love towards one another; it's a reality that's rarely found in a children's book. Dolphin is a lonely little girl. predominate focus upon female characters which may limit its audience of It is difficult because the older sister Star thinks she is just a mad woman who can’t cope but Dolphin thinks that her mum is amazing and really special. Marigold is covered in bright, colourful tattoos and is subject to sudden mood swings which can leave her unable to take care of her daughters. The roles are reversed with Marigold adopting a ‘child like’ character and her daughters the role of ‘carer’. See all 6 questions about The Illustrated Mum…. The Illustrated Mum is full of The book focuses on a number of tragic and difficult issues from a child’s perspective to help the reader engage in the story. Two sisters cope with the unpredictable behaviour of their depressed, alcoholic mother. All they know is that their mum is sometimes down, sometimes up, sometimes very fun, and sometimes absolutely scary. The Illustrated Mum. Left with only her mother in the flat , Dolphin wishes star hadn’t left so selfishly . I wanted to read it from an adult perspective as I remember being a little upset by it as a child.
Jacqueline Wilson. unconventional and troubled relationships they have. The chapters are short enough to make it a good book for reading in the classroom or at bedtime. Clean, although the social context of a single mother with children from different fathers, and 'alternative' living, needs to be considered when deciding suitability. Marigold, Star, Eye, and Snake. As a teenager she started work for a magazine publishing company and then went on to work as a journalist on Jackie magazine (which she was told was named after her!) The title corresponds well with the mother character (I forgot what her name is but for the readers sake let’s just call her Daisy ) because she is covered head to toe in tattoos . Marigold has two daughters one who doesn't mind having her as a young mother, but the other one wants to start a life of her own because she is really fed up with having to look after Marigold all the time. I would say for an older child who is already a little 'streetwise' this is probably fine, but otherwise it might be an eye-opener! When asked in an interview why she had chosen so many difficult topics to read, Jacqueline Wilson stated that she understood that the story covered a lot of emotional and difficult topics but that her feedback from her other books had been that children had enjoyed crying and being upset for the characters. I really loved it. looking after her mother, resentful and craves conformity and normality that Dolphin adores her mother, Marigold. The mum character, who they always call Marigold, is special because she is covered head to toe in tattoos all of which have a special meaning to her daughter, Dolphin. I found this really interesting as it allows us to understand the meaning behind the tattoos and helps to move the story along. The author (Jacqueline Wilson) deserves a lot of credit for the way she discusses and handles some of the wide-ranging and serious issues contained in the story, including mental health issues, alcoholism and bullying. Overall it was a good children's book though. The book also shows her older sisters contrasting opinions; she is fed up of would be more appropriate for children in year 5 and 6. One of my all-time favourite books. However it is more appropriate for children year 5 + because the themes explored in this book are sensitive. Marigold is great at getting tattoos, not so great at anything else. I decided to reread some of my old favourites for 'Middle Grade March 2020', and The Illustrated Mum was one of my top 3 growing up, so it had to feature. Dolphin thinks that her mum is really amazing and special, but everybody else at school thinks she’s a bit weird and Dolphin gets bullied because of it. Instead of protecting them, Marigold exposes her daughters to a darker world of alcoholism and depression and explores the bond between mother and daughter, father and daughter and the importance of friendship. She finds some solace in a new-found friend, Oliver, but she knows that ultimately something must be done. The Illustrated Mum is a thought provoking story told through the voice of Marigold’s youngest daughter, Dolphin. "Covered from head to foot with glorious tattoos, Marigold is the brightest, most beautiful Mother in the world. The main twist within the book is when Micky Star's dad comes back into their lives and the effect that this has on the main characters. Maybe I'm just way too cynical but I kinda resented the last quarter of this book. The story deals with many intense moments that can occur in a child’s life such as poverty, bullying, violence, madness and dyslexia. The book has a focus of talking to the child and being written for the child rather than an adult writing what they think a child would be able to ‘handle’ with these difficult issues. Although the book is very dark at times, what comes through above all else is the resilience of the story’s child narrator. One of the BEST books I've ever read in my life. Jacqueline Wilson was one of my all-time favourite authors during childhood and I picked up the Illustrated Mum again as a bit of an experiment. and bullying at school and for those that haven’t experienced this it opens He assumes responsibility for her immediately and attempts to get her away from her crazy, tattooed mum. Subsisting on welfare, the trio has moved frequently, which has been especially hard on Dolphin (aka "Dol"), who, unlike Star, is plain, wears hand-me-downs and is constantly teased by peers. The story itself is exciting and well written and compels the reader to keep reading. I wished I didn't always get stuck with dolphins"). The Illustrated Mum by Jacqueline Wilson is a book that really relates to my childhood experiences whilst growing up. For starters, she's covered head to toe in strange tattoos, and, second, she's not always there for her daughters. As Marigold suffers a break down, Dolphin has to live in a foster home where she is reunited with her sister and eventually her mother. Wilson (The Suitcase Kid; Bad Girls) again affectingly portrays an adolescent in a remarkably real and wrenching situation. After breaking up with Micky, she breaks down and thinks that it is because she doesn’t look like the woman that he wants . She felt this feedback was important to listen to as it was the readers she was writing for and felt that it was important that children felt such a connection with characters to encourage them to read more. That Jacqueline Wilson is such an underrated children's book author, continues to surprise me. Dolphin and Star’s mum is rather egotistical and shapes the way her children think to fit the way that she sees herself. Despite being 20, I would love to re-read this again. I thought the author's portrayal of this type of mental illness through the character of Marigold was very accurate. In which case I would recommend discussing the issues that arise as you go along :D,
The Illustrated Mum book review by Huw Price, This first person narrative deals with issues of manic depression and alcohol dependency within the family unit. quite controversial. Jacqueline Wilson discusses these sensitive issues but possesses a rare gift for writing lightly and humorously. ‘“It’s like you’re the mum” Marigold wept. Additionally it comes in an audio version which means that even if children aren't proficient readers they can still listen and therefore access the story. Wilson is great at making realistic characters that you can quickly come to term with, giving realistic reactions to events. Firstly it deals with issues that girls in particular may be interested in, such as Star getting her first boyfriend and also friendships which run throughout the book. She welcomes this and runs off to live with him. This is a serious subject and a serious story, but Wilson makes it very accessible to a younger audience, probably 11 and up I'd say. Marigold isn't a 'typical' Mum as she struggles to form a parent/child relationship with the girls. Her daughters wish for their mother to be normal. She's got wonderful clothes, bright hair and vivid tattoos all over her body - a colourful lady, to match her colourful life. Thank you. But Dolphin's older sister, Star, is beginning to wonder if living with Marigold's fiery, unpredictable moods is the best thing for the girls... 623 Reviews March 2nd 2000 However I don't know if younger children would fully understand that the mother has manic depression. I really enjoyed this book and think it is one of the best books of Jacqueline Wilson’s styles of fiction. I loved how each chapter was named after one of Marigold's tatoos and each tatoo had some significance to that part of the story and Dolphin's life with her mum or her sister, Star. Her elder sister, Star is far from satisfied with their home life, and when their mother’s behaviour become unmanageable, Star decides that she has had enough. I like the chapter named daisy chain because marigold makes a cake house for some pretend mice! Star's father turns up and we can't even hate him because this is the first he's heard of Star. The references towards alcohol abuse, can appear somewhat That's what Dolphin thinks...Her older sister, Star, isn't so sure any more. encapsulated and part of the book. When asked in an interview why she had chosen so many difficult topics to read, Jacqueline Wilson stated that she understood that the story covered a lot of emotional and difficult topics but that her feedback from her other books had been that children had enjoyed crying and being upset for the characters. Some of the issues that are covered in the story are; alcoholism, adult relationships, sex, adolescent anxiety towards their looks, separation from family, bullying, mental health issues and many others.