May 21, 2020

MOM'S SWEATER

Mom's Sweater by Jayde Perkin tackles loss and grief through the eyes of a young girl whose mother passes away.


A young girl's mother passes away, and she struggles with how to feel -- how does she move on from this event? Why is she angry and jealous of those who heal faster? How is she "supposed" to feel? When she discovers one of her mother's sweater, she finds comfort in wearing it as a reminder. Her father explains that grief is just like the sweater: though the grief will never fully leave her, the girl just needs time to grow into her grief and find a way to live with it.


The vibrance of the colors in the illustrations truly balances out the heaviness of the text, but the message is clear regardless: no matter how dark the day, brighter days lie ahead. The idea of loneliness is driven home flawlessly since the young girl is rarely pictured alone on a page (never a whole spread), and even when she is, there's a certain level of chaos portrayed either around her or by her. The one exception to this is the moment of clarity toward the end wherein she realizes that though her grief might always be there, her world will grow and the grief will feel smaller: the girl appears completely alone, watering a garden that grows across the spread from left to right on a stark white background. Like the spread, the girl's heart is open and uncluttered, and she's ready to grow and continue living.


Mom's Sweater published from Eerdmans Books for Young Readers back in April.



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