Book: Michael Rosen’s Sad Book

Michael Rosen's "Sad Book"

We all have sad stuff – maybe you have some right now, as you read this. What makes Michael Rosen most sad is thinking about his son Eddie, who died. In this book he writes about his sadness, how it affects him and some of the things he does to try to cope with it. This is a very personal story that speaks to everyone; whether or not you have known what it’s like to feel really, deeply sad, its truth will surely touch you.

There is beauty in sadness. Especially when it’s in the form of a very well-made picture book.

In Michael Rosen’s Sad Book, we are invited into the psyche of the author as he tries to work out his grief over the loss of his son. But it’s not just this loss that makes him sad, and as he unravels his thoughts page by page, you’re drawn in to reflect on the things that make you sad too.

At least, that’s how it was for me.

I like to think I’m a happy person. I’m not always happy, but I make it a point not to be sad. A choice. And it is one that immediately gets addressed in the first page of this picture book. We do our best to be happy, to look happy, because other people won’t like us when we look sad. And we want people to like us. At least, like us enough that they would hang out with us. Because when we’re left alone, then our thoughts wander more. Then our thoughts would go back to the sadness.

Michael Rosen’s Sad Book is simple, but it has a powerful punch. Especially when you’re open to the idea of embracing your sadness. Because, some times, it’s easier to be happy when you accept that you are sad.

Does that make sense?

Sadness permeates our very existence, but it doesn’t dictate our lives. It’s part of our lives, but it’s our choice not to be eaten up by it. Sadness is a condition. Happiness is a choice.

And that sounds way too much like a pep talk. So why don’t we saunter over to other book reviews to see what other people have to say about the book?
Books For Keeps
Little Parachutes
Publishers Weekly

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