Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Sad Book (Michael Rosen)

I picked up this book because we have looked at quite a few books lately that are illustrated by Quentin Blake. Our two book choices for book club this month were both illustrated by him. I wasn't sure about reading a book about being sad, but it went over well. My students were quite interested in whether or not the story was true. I told them I thought it was. It is probably a good topic to touch on now and then as kids can experience depression just as much as adults.

The first page surprised me - or in some ways, didn't surprise me:

With unmitigated honesty, a touch of humor, and sensitive illustrations by Quentin Blake, Michael Rosen explores the experience of sadness in a way that resonates with us all.

Sometimes I'm sad and I don’t know why.
It's just a cloud that comes along and covers me up.

Sad things happen to everyone, and sometimes people feel sad for no reason at all. What makes Michael Rosen sad is thinking about his son, Eddie, who died suddenly at the age of eighteen. In this book the author writes about his sadness, how it affects him, and some of the things he does to cope with it—like telling himself that everyone has sad stuff (not just him) and trying every day to do something he can be proud of. Expressively illustrated by the extraordinary Quentin Blake, this is a very personal story that speaks to everyone, from children to parents to grandparents, teachers to grief counselors. Whether or not you have known what it's like to feel deeply sad, the truth of this book will surely touch you.

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