CHILDREN’S BOOK REVIEW: Goodbye Mog by Judith Kerr

Goodbye Mog by Judith KettGoodbye Bye Mog by Judith Kerr
Illustrated by Judith Kerr
32 Pages
Children’s Stories
Published by HarperCollins Children’s Books
Age range: 2.5+

Sadly before Christmas our beloved family cat died. Death is something that is hard enough for an adult to understand, let alone a 4 year old child. As is the case when things happen and I want to help my son process or learn something, I turn to books to help me.

Goodbye Mog, written by Judith Kerr, is a great book to help children understand the loss of a family pet. Most of us will have come across the fab Mog books, who made a come back this Christmas with a little help from Sainsburys and Mog’s Christmas Calamity. I also reviewed one of Kerr’s other fab books The Tiger Who Came To Tea a couple of months back. I love her books and it’s fair to say my children do too.

Goodbye Mog is a gentle book and introduces the concept of death kindly to children.

Mog was tired. She was dead tired. Her head was dead tired. Her paws were dead tired. Even her tail was dead tired. Mog thought, ‘I want to sleep for ever.’ And so she did. But a little bit of her stayed awake to see what would happen next.

Goodbye Mog first page

We see Mog deciding one day that she wants to sleep forever and she drifts off, but watches over her family to see what happens. The concept of death is cleverly articulated, in such a simple, but lovely way.

Goodbye Mog 2

The sadness and crying is explained as the family talk about Mog and how much they miss her. They also hold a little funeral for her. But the sadness is interspersed with humour as Mog watches her family mourn, to make sure the tone isn’t too heavy and sad for children. For example: ‘ “Well, of course they’ll miss me,” thought Mog. […] But it’s quite true – I was very lovely.” ‘

Goodbye Mog 3

Then it comes time for the family to get a new cat. There is lots of fun antics as the kitten arrives. Mog expresses her opinion of the kitten, before deciding to help it settle in with the family. My son giggled away at some of the kitten’s silliness and really enjoyed hearing Mog’s commentary on what was going on.

Goodbye Mog 4

The ending is equally as gentle and wonderfully articulated, when the kitten is finally settled in and her family is happy Mog finally decides it is time to move on.

‘And she flew up and up and up and up right into the sun.’

We have actually since got her own kitten, and my son and I chat about what our old cat would think of the kitten and whether he is watching and helping like Mog did in the book.


If you sadly lose a family pet like we did, this is really a great book to help your child understand what has happened. My son is 4, but I think this would still be helpful to older children too. It is sad, humorous and beautifully expressed.

Rating: 4/5

Buy the book on Amazon.

33 thoughts on “CHILDREN’S BOOK REVIEW: Goodbye Mog by Judith Kerr”

  1. I spotted this title in the back of another Mog book recently and thought it looked a tear jerker! We received a gorgeous cuddly Mog for Christmas, which is loved to pieces and Tigs has been asking about death so much lately….this would be the perfect book when the time comes to say goodbye to our own Cat. Thanks for sharing.

    • You’re welcome, I suspect we may need a cuddly Mog in our house too! Death is such a hard thing to talk to children about and this book has definitely helped me express it better to my son.

  2. I also turn to books to try and help my boys understand difficult or abstract concepts and this looks like a brilliant book. I love the gentleness of the writing in the Mog books. Sorry for your loss, pets are such a huge part of the family and I hope the book has helped you all ????

  3. Awww this is lovely. It sounds like a wonderful book filled with humour while still being senstitive. It sounds perfect for smaller children and perfect for your family as you are in the same situation.

    Gemma xx

  4. Oh books like this are totally invaluable. I love the Mog books in general they always have a nice bit of humour and gorgeous pictures. It sounds like a lovely gentle way to explain and comfort your son. S x

  5. It’s so bad that this post made me well up! I swear since I’ve had Evie I’m now an emotional wreck!!! What a beautiful book. I love Judith Kerr books and I’ve read Mog books but never this one. It sounds so lovely and what a great way to explain death to little ones. Seriously stunning. xxx

  6. What a brilliant blog and so so relevant to what happened to your poor cat. I have never heard of this and to be honest I think it’s a fantastic idea to get a book to help your son understand and little more what has happened.

  7. Mog is well loved in our family. I read the books as a child and my daughter reads them too (we were so happy at Christmas when Mog’s Christmas Calamity came out!) I hadn’t heard of this book and it does look like a brilliant way to explain the death of a pet to a child. Death is a very hard concept for children to understand and I like the way this book handles it with humour as well as sadness x

    • We were very excited about Mog’s Calamity at Christmas too – I’m not sure we have the whole collection – but I think we may need to get them!

  8. I’m so sorry about the loss of your cat, losing pets is so heartbreaking. This book sounds like an absolutely wonderful idea, thank you for sharing x #kltr

  9. Sorry to hear about your cat. I wasn’t aware of this book, but it is something to keep in mind ‘just in case’, even though it does sound rather sad x

  10. Saddened to hear about the passing Judith Kerr. Thoughts are with her family and friends. Judy was a great author and illustrator.


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