cover image Mom and Dad Glue

Mom and Dad Glue

Kes Gray, , illus. by Lee Wildish. . Barron's, $14.99 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-7641-6262-6

Distraught by his parents' marital difficulties, a boy decides that he needs “parent glue” to “patch their marriage up.” A kindly local glue shop owner explains “[t]hat sometimes life works out this way,/ That what must be must be,” and gradually the boy comes to understand that “[m]y parents may be broken/ But their love for me is not.” Wildish's (All Better ) little but large-headed hero is instantly sympathetic in both his determination and vulnerability. A recurring “cracked” motif—doors, trees, and other objects are shown torn in half—underscores how a parental fissure makes a child's entire world feel broken. Many of Gray's (006 and a Half ) rhymes come across as platitudes (“The more I hold together/ The more I'm super strong./ The more I'll come to terms with things/ The less it will seem wrong”), but may offer comfort, along with a few choice lines (“sometimes love gets damaged,/ Way beyond repair”; “I need to make the best of things,/ There is no glue for hearts”) that should help readers realize that time is most likely to heal the hurt. Ages 5–8. (Nov.)