Children’s Book Review: “Goodbye Mog” by Judith Kerr

On the Mindful Mum blog, we often turn to books to help navigate the complex emotions and situations life throws at our little ones. “Goodbye Mog” by Judith Kerr is one such treasure that gently opens the door to discussing loss with children.

Judith Kerr, known for her warm and engaging stories, tackles the sensitive subject of a family pet’s death in “Goodbye Mog”. For those familiar with the lovable cat Mog from Kerr’s previous books, this story marks a tender and final farewell that resonates deeply, especially for those who have recently experienced a similar loss.

The story is simple yet profoundly touching. Mog, tired from her long and happy life, decides it’s time to sleep forever. Yet, as she drifts away, a part of her stays to watch over her family, bringing a comforting thought to young readers that those we love always keep an eye on us, even when they’re gone.

Kerr’s illustrations, as always, bring the tale to life with warmth and subtlety. The book doesn’t shy away from the reality of sadness, showing Mog’s family crying and expressing their grief. But it’s not all tears; Kerr weaves humor into the narrative, balancing the heaviness of the subject. This approach ensures the book doesn’t overwhelm young minds but instead offers them a way to understand and process their feelings.

The introduction of a new kitten into the family brings a lighter tone to the later part of the book. The kitten’s playful antics and Mog’s ghostly commentary on them offer giggles and smiles, helping to ease the transition from mourning to remembering with joy.

“Goodbye Mog” concludes on a note of hope and moving on. Mog, seeing her family happy again, content with the new kitten, finds peace and ascends to a restful place. This depiction of Mog’s final journey is comforting, suggesting a serene and beautiful continuation rather than an end.

This book can be a real help for children grappling with the concept of death, especially when it concerns a pet they’ve loved and grown with. While the book is aimed at children around four years old, its message is universal enough that older children might also find comfort within its pages.

For families that have welcomed a new pet after a loss, “Goodbye Mog” can be a way to talk about the memories of their previous pet, just as the family in the story does. It’s a conversation starter about life, loss, and the joy that memories can bring, even when someone we love is no longer with us.

In short, “Goodbye Mog” earns a well-deserved 4 out of 5 stars. It’s a book that addresses a difficult topic with the right mix of sadness and humor, expressed beautifully to resonate with children and adults alike. If you find yourself in the tough spot of discussing the loss of a pet with your child, Judith Kerr’s “Goodbye Mog” could be the gentle support you need.

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