I’d not normally blog about picture books. I know there are some wonderful ones out there in the world and I love The Gruffalo as much as the next guy! Possibly more. Read it most days to my daughter. And Where The Wild Things Are. And We’re Going On A Bear Hunt – also by Rosen. I also follow Rosen on Twitter.
So when I saw his Sad Book in the picture book shelves of the local library – have I mentioned I love libraries? – I thought why not?
Why not? WHY NOT?
This is one of the saddest, hardest, most painful books I’ve read! It is brutal in its honesty as Rosen explores his grief and depression after his son, Eddie, died. I got this to read to my two-year old daughter! The dead child haunts every page of the book! I glanced over it as she romped blissfully on the floor. The idea of losing her…
It is a powerfully empowering book in a world where depression and mental health are increasing concerns for young and adult alike. People get sad. Every person gets sad. And we can’t always control it. But that’s ok: it’s ok to be sad. And even when you are sad, the world is wonderful and beautiful and there will be days when you can see it. And that’s ok too.
Now don’t get me wrong: it’s a gut-wrenchingly positive and sad book and we should live in a society where it’s acceptable to talk about loss and grief and pain openly. But it is not a toddler picture-book shelf book!
In fact, I may pass it on to a teenager who may get something positive from it.