Michael Rosen’s Sad Book by

This is me being sad. Maybe you think I'm happy in this picture. Really I'm sad pretending I'm happy.
–Michael Rosen - Michael Rosen's sad book - c.2004
Michael Rosen's Sad Book

Michael Rosen’s Sad Book

illustrated by Quentin Blake

This book opens with a picture of the author, smiling. The words tell a different story. They tell us that this is a picture of Michael Rosen being sad, but trying to hide it. He tries to hide it most of the time but he can’t always. He is often sad because his son, Eddie, has died. Sometimes he wants to talk about it with his mother, but she is also dead. Sometimes he doesn’t want to talk about it at all.

But other times he is sad simply because he is sad.

“Sometimes I’m sad and I don’t know why. It’s just a cloud that comes along and covers me up. It’s not because Eddie’s gone. It’s not because my mum’s gone. It’s just because.”

This is a wonderful book. It is marketed at children, and I could see it being very useful in helping younger readers deal with grief and loss, and depression. But it is also a wonderful read for any one of any age. It is so honest and touching.

It doesn’t take long to read but it’ll stay with you.

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2 Responses

  1. brideofcadavra says:

    My son Jess and I were just talking about how our society tends to try to hide the reality of death and sadness from our children. He's looking forward to NOT doing that with his! Remember A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness? Awesome book. I'm going to look for Michael Rosen's Sad Book, too. (Also, hello! :)

  2. fence says:

    Hello!!
    A Monster Calls is so great. I guess you have to hide some aspects of death from children, it is a tough one to address, but Rosen's Sad Book addresses it in a way that I think is honest and real and yet somewhat easy to grasp manner. Plus if you like Quentin Blake's illustrations you'll have something else to appreciate.