Michael Rosen's Sad Book chronicles Michael's grief at the death of his son Eddie from meningitis at the age of 19. A moving combination of sincerity and simplicity, it acknowledges that sadness is not always avoidable or reasonable and perfects the art of making complicated feelings plain. It wasn't made like any other book either; Michael Rosen said of the text, "I wrote it at a moment of extreme feeling and it went straight down onto the page ... Quentin didn't illustrate it, he 'realized' it. He turned the text into a book and as a result showed me back to myself. No writer could ask and get more than that." And Quentin Blake says that the picture of Michael "being sad but trying to look happy" is the most difficult drawing he's ever done... "a moving experience."
A beautifully illustrated read for adults and children about love and loss which explains why it's ok to be sad sometimes
If you read just one book to a child who has experienced the death of someone close to them it should be (this)
Important and astonishing ... Blake's pictures are a triumph. They combine perfectly recognisable portraits of Rosen with expressionism, proving that Blake's seemingly spontaneous style is born out of practice and precision. Both the words and the images articulate strong emotion with admirable economy and convey a sense of the preciousness of life without being sentimental, platitudinous or falsely hopeful. At moments, the story is even funny. This valuable book is painful, but its honesty is surprisingly uplifting. It is a huge achievement by both author and illustrator.
Nicolette Jones in The Sunday Times
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