Sonderbooks Book Reviews by Sondra Eklund

Sonderbooks Stand-out 2005
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I don't review books I don't like!

*****= An all-time favorite
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*****Michael Rosen's Sad Book

by Michael Rosen

pictures by Quentin Blake

Reviewed June 19, 2005.
Candlewick Press, Cambridge Massachusetts, 2004.  32pages.
Available at Sembach Library (E ROS).
A 2005 Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book for Nonfiction.
Sonderbooks Stand-out 2005 (#2, Picture Books)

This is a brilliant book.  Yes, it is sad.  Very sad.  But it helps you or a child understand that sadness finds anyone and simply makes you sad, not bad.

The pictures are wonderful, and the book wouldn’t be complete without them.  Quentin Blake shows the sadness all around and all over Michael Rosen, who is sad because of the death of his son Eddie.

My favorite page is the first one, with a picture of a smiling face.  “This is me being sad.  Maybe you think I’m happy in this picture.  Really I’m sad but pretending I’m happy.  I’m doing that because I think people won’t like me if I look sad.”

The book goes on to explore his sadness and the things he does when he feels bad and the things he does to continue to cope with life.

“Who is sad?
Sad is anyone.
It comes along and finds you.”

If sadness finds you, this book can be strangely comforting.  And I think it can help children know that they are not alone with this feeling.  Okay, it helps adults know that, too.

Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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