Given the current global situation and with many people facing drastically changing lives this seemed like the perfect opportunity to re-read and review It’s a No-Money Day. A powerful and poignant story that beautifully and sensitively portrays the hardships that mother and daughter face with limited income.
Despite mum’s best efforts, the money has run out and the cupboards are bare. Today is a no-money day. Yet that is no reason to be sad as this family prove. The daughter takes delight in all of her experiences and mum does her best to mask the true pain of the situation.
There are so many subtle clues as to the situation that the family find themselves in. The wallpaper is peeling off the walls, the careful counting of the pounds, the kitchen is bare, the cupboards are empty, the clothes hanging above the bed, the sharing a bed together - there are endless opportunities for discussion around these images. It is a read that will educate children about those that are less fortunate than themselves and should develop empathy and understanding. There should be no shame in asking for help or benefiting from the generosity of others but you feel the pain for mum at her embarrassment of visiting the food bank - she just wants a better life for her daughter.
Whilst the situation that the family find themselves in is upsetting there is plenty of warmth and love in this book. The innocence of the girl when she gets to eat the last slice of bread for breakfast because, “Mum isn’t hungry,” the happiness that it brings both the mum and the girl is particularly touching. The visiting the charity shops to try on clothes and the sheer enjoyment of all the fun things that you can do at home with a little bit of creativity and imagination. And there is always the hope of things improving and even the thought of getting a kitten.
Despite all of the struggles that they face the family remain positive… “Maybe one day.” A book that all children should read and have the opportunity to discuss.
Recommended for 4+.