READING CORNER | MICHAEL ROSEN’S SAD BOOK

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Michael Rosen’s Sad Book, is truly, just so sad. It is such a gift to anyone out there, child or adult, who is struggling with loss and grief. I found it sitting quite innocently on the picture book shelves in our local library and was drawn to it immediately because of the fabulous Quentin Blake illustrations (the illustrator of many Roald Dahl books). The next thing I knew I was hiding among the waist-high stacks, blubbering, and trying to wipe away the tears before being found by one of my children. The story in the Sad Book is of a man trying to deal with the reality of existing in the world while feeling immensely broken on the inside. It includes little strategies for getting through the day, with mental tricks and a dash of outward falseness, but also encourages acceptance of the painful feelings, even to the extent of the odd small social deviance (ever really kicked the cat?), and realization of all the other functioning people who are also suffering with sadness. It officially makes it into my own personal category of books I cannot read to my kids without crying, along with Love You Forever (Robert Munsch) and The Giving Tree (Shel Silverstein), and that is not in any way a bad thing.

(images from here, here, here, here, and here. Feature image from here)

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