Cover and internal illustrations by Daniel Rieley
Welcome to my stop on Mister P’s Blog Tour! I’m delighted to be hosting a fabulous guest post by Maria Farrer about Putting Empathy Centre Stage, and sharing my review of Me And Mister P: Ruby’s Star…
Ruby spends her days, and nights, looking after her Mum and baby brother, and has done ever since her Dad left. She dreams of having time to herself and her very own skateboard, but she knows they’re both just dreams. Too frightened of the consequences to ask for help, she’s lonely, friendless and frightened. When Mister P drops into her life, he’s just another thing to add to her list of worries, isn’t he?
I’m delighted Mister P is back to help another child in need. He’s Nanny McPhee in polar bear form, and his wordless companionship is just what is needed to help Ruby think through her worries and solve them for herself, including allowing others to help her. Ruby shows real determination and perseverance to look after her family, at the expense of her own emotional needs for friendship and play. I adored Mrs Moresby, and her straightforward, gentle kindness, unwavering friendship and knowing when to step back or step in. I also loved that the story explained possible reasons for unacceptable behaviour without excusing it. And for any budding skate boarders, there’s a great section at the end of the book with hints and tips on some cool tricks!
Maria Farrer has taken the subject of child carers and woven it into a heart-felt story, that is by turns bleak, funny, thought-provoking and ultimately uplifting. Daniel Ridley’s illustrations add depth and humour to this charming book.
Those of us who work in schools all know a ‘Ruby’; there will be Rubys in every school in the country, who all need someone to be their Mister P. They need our compassion and understanding to help them with their daily lives, allow them to be children and encourage them to find healthy ways to deal with their emotions. We need to help other children understand the Rubys in their classes, so their time at school is spent enjoying friends rather than in frustrated isolation.
Please do read the fabulous guest post by Maria Farrer about Putting Empathy Centre Stage, and why we should be encouraging everyone to #ReadforEmpathy, and make sure you check out all of the other stops on Mister P’s Blog Tour.
Huge thanks to Sophie at Oxford University Press for sending me a copy for review, and to Fritha for inviting me to be a part of the blog tour.