The Illustrated Mum

Covered from head to foot with glorious tattoos, Marigold is the brightest, most beautiful mother in the world. Dolphin would do anything for her. She just wishes her beautiful mum wouldn’t stay out partying all night, or forget to buy food and pay the bills, or go weird now and then. Dolphin’s big sister Star isn’t so sure anymore. She loves Marigold too, but sometimes she just can’t help wishing things were more normal. And when Mum starts to fall apart, what should Dolphin do? Is her illustrated mum still in the picture?

  • A touching and heartbreaking tale of family troubles
  • Winner of the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize 2000
  • Shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal and Whitbread Prize
  • Explores topical themes of mental illness and child carers

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Recent reviews

  • loved it

    The way Jacqueline Wilson has written this book is amazing! It is such a touching read!

    23 March 2018

  • loved it

    This book is so good!

    6 September 2016

  • A good book for older readers, people who dont mind a twist and a turn sometimes

    9 March 2014

  • This book is really wierd but i still liked it.

    9 March 2014

  • loved it

    Dolphin would do anything for her mum but she just wishes she could look after her and her sister,Star more or at least HERSELF! None of them are sure they could keep this up anymore and Marigold is falling apart!

    8 March 2014

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  • Photo of Jacqueline Wilson

    Jacqueline Wilson

    Former Children’s Laureate Jacqueline Wilson is one of the UK’s best-known living children’s authors.


    Jacqueline has won loads of awards, including the prestigious Children’s Laureate 2005-2007, two British Book Awards Children’s Books of the Year for Girls in Tears and The Illustrated Mum, and the Guardian prize for The Illustrated Mum. In a poll to find the Nation’s Favourite Children’s Book Double Act was voted 10th and was the only contemporary title in the top ten.

  • Photo of Nick Sharratt

    Nick Sharratt

    Nick Sharratt is one of the country’s favourite illustrators, with over 100 books to his name.


    Nick has won numerous awards for his picture books, including the Sheffield Children’s Book Award for A Cheese and Tomato Spider and the Nottingham Children’s Book Award for Elephant Wellyphant.

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