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