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Me and Mrs Moon

Me and Mrs Moon

Helen Bate
Otter-Barry Books Ltd
ISBN: 9781910959947

Maisie has the most fantastic neighbour, Mrs Moon. Not only is she clever and full of fun but she is also a wonderful listener, really kind and a brilliant friend. Mrs Moon has certainly earned the title 'Granny Moon'. Maisie and her best friend Dylan are lucky enough to spend the holidays with Mrs Moon and her little dog, Jack. They spend their days enjoying the park, swimming, dressing up and generally having a good time. If Maisie or Dylan get into trouble, Mrs Moon even patches them up using her nursing skills. She really is the best babysitter; active, creative and a little eccentric but 100% dependable.

At first, when Mrs Moon starts to act strangely, Maisie simply puts it down to her whimsical ways. However, when she becomes forgetful and starts to behave strangely around other people, Maisie starts to worry. Maisie doesn't realise but Granny Moon is starting to show all the classic signs of dementia. She tires quickly, is easily distracted, often gets confused and sometimes behaves inappropriately in social situations. At first only Maisie notices Mrs Moon's changes in behaviour. She doesn't share her fears with her family in case Mrs Moon is no longer able to look after her. Maisie has no experience of dementia and expects that Mrs Moon will get better, as though she has a cold. But inevitably, it isn't long before Maisie's mother discovers that something is very wrong and Maisie realises this too. Family and friends rally to support Mrs Moon and, although the end of the story is a sad one, at least Mrs Moon gets to help she needs.

This is a powerful story about friendship, loyalty and dementia. Maisie experiences all the classic emotions of someone caring for a person with dementia. At first she tries to fix and cover up Mrs Moon's unusual behaviour, she cares and worries about her. Eventually she understands that Mrs Moon won't get better and she needs additional help to make sure Granny Moon is properly cared for.

Readers may know Helen Bates for her first graphic novel, 'Peter in Peril', also published by Otter-Barry books. With this book, Helen demonstrates her gift for presenting difficult topics in a sensitive way in order to deepen understanding and empathy. This is the perfect story for any child who has someone in their life experiencing dementia. Showing that whilst there are many challenges, when family and friends care, there is also hope.

48 pages / Ages 7+ / Reviewed by Emily Beale, librarian


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