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  • The Illustrated Mum
  • Written by Jacqueline Wilson
  • Format: eBook | ISBN: 9780307531780
  • Our Price: $4.99
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The Illustrated Mum

Written by Jacqueline WilsonAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Jacqueline Wilson


List Price: $4.99


On Sale: March 25, 2009
Pages: 288 | ISBN: 978-0-307-53178-0
Published by : Yearling RH Childrens Books
The Illustrated Mum Cover

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Covered from head to toe with one-of-a-kind tattoos, Marigold is the brightest, most beautiful mother in the world. At least, that’s what Dolphin thinks—she just wishes Marigold wouldn’t stay out quite so late or have mood spells every now and again. Dolphin’s older sister, Star, loves Marigold too, but she’s tired of looking after her. So when Star’s dad shows up out of the blue and offers to let the girls stay with him, Star jumps at the opportunity. But Dolphin can’t bear to leave Marigold alone. Now it’s just the two of them, and Dolphin is about to be in over her head. . . .

From the Hardcover edition.


Marigold started going weird again on her birthday. Star remembered that birthdays were often bad times so we'd tried really hard. Star made her a beautiful big card cut into the shape of a marigold. She used up all the ink in the orange felt-tip coloring it in. Then she did two sparkly silver threes with her special glitter pen and added "Happy Birthday" in her best italic writing. They do calligraphy in Year Eight and she's very good at it.
I'm still in elementary school and I'm useless at any kind of writing so I just drew on my card. As it was Marigold's thirty-third birthday I decided I'd draw her thirty-three most favorite things. I drew Micky (I'd never seen him but Marigold had described him enough times) and Star and me. Then I drew the Rainbow Tattoo Studio and the Victoria Arms and the Nightbirds club. I did them in the middle all clumped together and then round the edges I drew London and the seaside and the stars at night. My piece of paper was getting seriously crowded by this time but I managed to cram in a CD player with lots of Emerald City CDs and some high heels and a bikini and jeans and different-colored tight tops and lots of rings and bangles and earrings.
I was getting a bit stuck for ideas by this time and I'd rubbed out so often that the page was getting furry so I gave up and colored it in. I wanted to do a pattern of marigolds as a border but Star had used up the orange already, so I turned the marigolds into roses and colored them crimson. Red roses signify love. Marigold was very into symbols so I hoped she'd understand.
We gave her presents too. Star found a remixed version of Emerald City's greatest hits for only $2 at the Saturday morning market. I bought her a sparkly hair clasp, green to match her eyes. We even bought a special sheet of green tissue paper and a green satin ribbon to wrap up the presents.
"Do you think she'll like them?" I asked Star.
"You bet," said Star. She took the hair clasp and opened it up so its plastic claws looked like teeth. "I am a great present," she made it say, and then it bit the tip of my nose.
Marigold gave us both big hugs and said we were darlings but her great green eyes filled with tears.
"So why are you crying?" I said.
"She's crying because she's happy," said Star. "Aren't you, Marigold?"
"Mm," said Marigold. She sniffed hard and wiped her eyes with the back of her hand. She was shaking but she managed a smile. "There. I've stopped crying now, Dol, OK?"
It wasn't OK. She cried on and off all day. She cried when she listened to the Emerald City CD because she said it reminded her of old times. She cried when I combed her hair out specially and twisted it up into a chic plait with her new green clasp.
"God, look at my neck! It's getting all wrinkly," she said. She touched the taut white skin worriedly while we did our best to reassure her. "I look so old."
"You're not old at all. You're young," said Star.
"Thirty-three," Marigold said gloomily. "I wish you hadn't written that right slap bang in the middle of your card, darling. I can't believe thirty-three. That was the age Jesus was when he died, did you know that?"
Marigold knew lots about the Bible because she was once in a church home.
"Thirty-three," she kept murmuring. "He tried so hard too. He liked kids, he liked bad women, he stuck up for all the alternative people. He'd have been so cool. And what did they do? They stuck him up on a cross and tortured him to death."
"Marigold," Star said sharply. "Look at Dol's card."
"Oh yes, darling, it's lovely," Marigold said. She blinked at it. "What's it meant to be?"
"Oh, it's stupid. It's all a mess," I said.
"It's all the things you like most," said Star.
"That's beautiful," said Marigold, looking and looking at it. Then she started crying again.
"I'm sorry. It's just it makes me feel so awful. Look at the pub and the high heels and the sexy tops. These aren't mumsie things. Dol should have drawn . . . I don't know, a kitten and a pretty frock and . . . and Marks & Spencer. That's what mums like."
"It's not what you like and you're my mum," I said.
"Dol spent ages making you that card," said Star. She was starting to get red in the face.
"I know, I know. It's lovely. I said. I'm the hopeless case. Don't you get what I'm saying?" Marigold sniffed again. "Anyway, let's have breakfast. Hey, can I have my cake now? Birthday cake for breakfast! Great idea, eh, girls?"
We stared at her.
"We didn't get you a cake," said Star. "You know we didn't. We asked and you said a cake was the very last thing you wanted, remember?"
"No," said Marigold, looking blank.
She'd gone on and on that we mustn't get her a cake because she was sure she was starting to put on weight and the icing would only give her toothache and anyway she didn't even like birthday cake.
"I love birthday cake," said Marigold. "I always have a special birthday cake. You know how much it means to me because I never had my own special birthday cake when I was a kid. Or a proper party. I hate it that you girls don't want proper parties and you just go to stupid places like Laser Quest and McDonald's."
"They're not stupid," I said. Star got asked to lots of stuff but I'd never been to a McDonald's party and no one had ever asked me to a Laser Quest either. I hoped I'd maybe make lots of friends when I went to the high school. I wasn't in with the party crowd in my class. Not that I wanted to go to any of their parties. I wouldn't have been friends with any of that lot if you'd paid me. Except maybe Tasha.
"OK, OK, I'll go and get you a birthday cake," said Star. "Marks and Sparks opens early on a Saturday. You wait."

From the Hardcover edition.
Jacqueline Wilson

About Jacqueline Wilson

Jacqueline Wilson - The Illustrated Mum
Jacqueline Wilson is a bestselling author in Britain, second only to J. K. Rowling.

Jacqueline Wilson is the author of award-winning books, including The Suitcase Kid, The Lottie Project, Bad Girls, The Story of Tracy Beaker, Vicky Angel, and The Girls Quartet and she has won the Guardian Children’s Fiction Award, the Smarties Prize, and the Children’s Book Award for Double Act, which was also highly commended for the Carnegie Medal.


Jacqueline Wilson was born in Bath, Somerset, in 1945, but spent most of her childhood in Kingston-on-Thames. She always wanted to be a writer and wrote her first “novel” when she was nine, filling countless Woolworths’ composition books as she grew up. She started work at a publisher and then went on to work as a journalist for D.C. Thomson in Scotland after she had an article published in Jackie magazine. Since having her daughter, Emma, she has been writing full time.

Jacqueline’s biggest passion and/or worst vice is buying books. She has over 15,000 books crammed into every corner of her small house—and they’ve started to creep across the carpets. Her favorite holiday place is Hay-On-Wye, which has about twenty secondhand bookshops.

Jacqueline has written numerous books for young people including: Bad Girls, Double Act, The Lottie Project, The Suitcase Kid, The Story of Tracy Beaker, The Bed and Breakfast Star, Cliffhanger, The Illustrated Mum and a quartet for slightly older readers, which includes Girls in Love (an ALA Quick Pick), Girls Under Pressure, Girls Out Late, and Girls in Tears. She has also written a series of crime novels and several plays, which have been broadcast on the radio.

Jacqueline has received countless honors and has won several awards in England, including The Young Telegraph/Fully Booked Award for The Bed and Breakfast Star, the Smarties Prize, the Sheffield Children’s Book Award and the Children’s Book Award for Double Act. The Illustrated Mum was shortlisted for the Whitbread Children’s Book Awardand has won the Children’s Book of the Year at the British Book Awards and the Guardian Children’s Fiction Award. Girls in Tears received the W.H. Smith Children’s Book of the Year Award.


“Tender moments . . . and the funny narrative, filled with British colloquialisms, and clever exchanges . . . make this a breezy read.”
Publishers Weekly

“Wilson proves that bad girls can make for a good story.”
Publishers Weekly

“Wilson creatively reshapes [heroine] Charlie’s own experiences to depict the plight of a girl living 100 years earlier, thus adding new dimension to Charlie’s perceptions while offering intriguing period particulars.”
—Starred, Publishers Weekly

“Charlie’s creative writing is a gentle endorsement for using one’s imagination to work through problems. Readers will empathize with many of the situations Charlie copes with.”
The Horn Book Magazine

“Wilson again shapes a convincing and memorable heroine with a snappy, fresh voice.”
Publishers Weekly


“A marvelous, poignant tale. . . . Jacqueline’s best yet.”—Daily Telegraph (UK)

“Disturbingly perceptive and provocative.”—The Guardian (UK)

“A powerfully portrayed, sometimes shocking but ultimately uplifting story, this is a book not to be missed.”—The Bookseller (UK)

Winner of the Children’s Book of the Year Award in England

From the Hardcover edition.

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