Verity is riddled with guilt and grief when the beloved family cat, Mable, passes away. In an attempt to prevent the family from taking Mable away from her, Verity decides to mummify her like the ancient Egyptians she is learning about at school. As can be imagined, Verity stumbles across many difficulties during the mummification, the first being she does not have the same equipment as the ancient Egyptians! During her journey through mummification and bereavement, Verity’s father and grandparents learn that perhaps it is time to talk about the biggest issue of all… The death of Verity’s mother.
Jacqueline Wilson tackles the difficult issue of grief of a truly beloved pet in the feisty book ‘The Cat Mummy’, but in true form, she does not stop there. From the perspective of a young school girl, Wilson incorporates the raw emotions of a family who are suffering from a death many years ago. Elegantly, Wilson manages to incorporate humour into the difficult subject matter and establishes a relationship between the reader and the main character. Although the theme of the story is potentially emotional and gloomy, Wilson still manages to warm the reader’s heart and end the paperback with her reoccurring theme of friendship, courage and love.
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- Reading Age: 7+
- Reading Aloud Age:
Due to the subject matter, I would suggest this book for 7 year olds and older, a classic Jacqueline Wilson for children and adults. The size of the print, incorporation of illustrations from Nick Sharratt and choice of vocabulary means that children in year 3 /4 and above can delve head first, enjoying the plot and wit without the stress and pressure of complex vocabulary or a daunting weight. As in all of Wilson’s books, she successfully connects with the reader through the main character Verity, writing in dialogue which could have easily come from a 10 year old. Although I would advise against reading the book to the whole class in case the subject is too close to home for some pupils, I would definitely recommend it to pupils who enjoy an amusing, down to earth text which involves some real life history facts. For anyone new to Jacqueline Wilson or any diehard fans, The Cat Mummy is not one to be missed.