Friday, July 12, 2013

Michael Rosen's Sad Book

I just discovered Michael Rosen's Sad Book.  "This is me being sad," the opening lines read, "Maybe you think I'm happy in this picture.  Really I'm sad pretending I'm happy..."  Quentin Blake's illustration sits above the lines.

In Sad Book, Mr. Rosen describes how he hide his grief and began to deal with death.  He wrote the book after his son, Eddie, died of meningitis.  Anyone who has suffered a loss - a child - a parent - a pet... well, any loss, really, will understand the author's need to express his sadness in words.

I love the honesty of this book.  The way the illustrations by Quentin Blake parallel the story so poignantly.  The beauty of the language, "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."  The journey through heartbreak and heartache, though long and lonely, that leads to hope.  The remembering.  In all its sadness, Mr. Rosen's book is somehow comforting.

Michael Rosen's writing is a gift.  Sometimes silly.  Sometimes serious.  And, in the case of Michael Rosen's Sad Book, simply special. 

Note: This is another book published by our friends at Candlewick Press.

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