Michael Rosen's sad book ISBN: 9780744598988
Published by Walker, 2004
Tears pricked my eyes as I read this splendid book. Michael Rosen understands sadness and expresses it so well. Not only the sadness of losing his dearly-loved 19 year old son Eddie, and his mum, but the kind of sadness that just comes: 'there's a sad place inside me because things aren't the same'. He has coping strategies too - he tries to do one thing every day that he can be proud of, he tells himself he isn't bad, only sad, and he tries to have one good, happy time each day. But there are good memories too - of his mum in the rain, of Eddie laughing and playing games with him, and of birthdays. Candles are an important part of birthdays, of light and happiness, and we see a final picture of Michael Rosen, sitting at his desk writing, with one candle before him - coping with his sadness. This is a book for adults as well as children. It may make you cry, but it will also help to heal. Blake's illustrations are, as always, a fully integrated and most important part of the whole, full of light and shadow, humour and poignancy. An important book.