It’s a No-Money Day


Mum offers the last piece of toast when there’s no cereal. Her dressing gown can become a cat, called Janet, on play days. Maybe one day if the ‘everything-else-jar’ is full, we can get a kitten.’

Yet on a no-money day there are things to do, like making cats, practising singing, reading scary books from the library, chasing pigeons, or visiting the charity shop and trying on clothes. There’s also a visit to the foodbank. Yet Mum feels sad when we go there. She gets cross if there’s a request for a favourite cereal. Maybe one day things will be different. Mum works hard and there are kind people who donate food so we’re not hungry when we awaken. Maybe one day.

Respectfully, considerately, award-winning picture book maker Kate Milner creates the experience of hunger, no-money and charity. Her thoughtful approach includes:-  muted tones, lead grey outlines, spare text, careful background settings that include damp wallpaper, counting pots, and contrasting attitudes of hope and defeat in the queueing daughter and mother. These demonstrate the aspirations, demands and realities of a ‘no-money’ life.

‘It’s a No-Money Day’ is a heartfelt, raw and wonderful picture book that merits reading, knowing and acting upon. Thank you Kate Milner and Barrington Stoke.


It’s a No- Money Day

Kate Milner

(Barrington Stoke)

‘It’s a No- Money Day’ means there isn’t any money in the ‘after the everything-else jar.’ It means a visit to the library, practising singing and making ‘a cat out of your mum’s dressing gown.’ It means a visit to the foodbank. There is opportunity to chat, dream of kittens and ask for your favourite cereal at the food bank. Yet Mum doesn’t like going there.
Mum works hard and counts her pennies. She gives up the last piece of toast when there is no more cereal. Yet after the visit to the food bank, tummies are full and you can play the ‘maybe one day’ game. What would you wish for?
Kate Milner won the V& A Illustration Arts’ award and Klaus Flugge prize for My name is not Refugee. Like that superb title, ‘It’s a No-Money Day‘ is subtle in its message, meaningful and impactful. Through using muted colours, text that contrasts with the experience, and inferred clues in her pictures, this picture book maker has created a masterpiece. ‘It’s a No-Money Day‘ leaves a lasting impression of real life that we need to acknowledge, respect, support and work to change.


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