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Michael Rosen's Sad Book

4.47  ·  Rating Details ·  1,202 Ratings  ·  223 Reviews
A very personal story about a universal issue, the loss of a loved one. It speaks to everyone whether they have experienced grief or not. Ages 5+.
Published October 1st 2004 by Walker, (first published January 1st 2004)
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Dec 27, 2014 Patrick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is the best concrete example I have of why Goodreads needs to add an option for giving a book multiple reviews.

Many of us read books more than once. We read at different times in our lives. We read books in different ways.

Because of that, we have different opinions of the books we read as time passes.

When I first read this book, I was teaching a children's literature class. In that context, I loved it because it talked about emotions without pandering to kids, without being gooey or
Buongiorno, tristezza

Un libro sull'accettazione della tristezza come aspetto perdurante in una vita segnata da un grave lutto. Michael Rosen ci dice che è triste e che questo sentimento a volte scema, ma non lo abbandona mai del tutto. Ha perso suo figlio e una parte di sé e anche se canta, fa cose sciocche o mangia cibi strani, la tristezza all'improvviso riappare, nel quotidiano, nel banale, magari mentre sta guardando passare la metropolitana. La tristezza c'è e Rosen la espone senza pudori,
Hend Adel
Dec 05, 2015 Hend Adel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I went into the book store asking for Micheal Rosen's books for young readers (for my son). The lady showed me 2 books but I found them too young for him. I thanked her but she said "wait a minute" and came back holding that book. I told her "Thanks, I am not looking for a picture book as I told you I want one for young readers, my son is 7 years old". "I know, it isn't for your son, it is for you" she said putting it near me. "But I won't buy a picture book" I replied. "Don't buy it, read it an ...more
Helen (Helena/Nell)
Dec 16, 2011 Helen (Helena/Nell) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Helen (Helena/Nell) by: I can't remember
I knew about this book. I had even heard Michael Rosen talking about it on the radio and liked the idea. But I hadn't read it.

Then a friend died rather suddenly, leaving his wife and an amazing ten-year-old daughter who plans to be a writer, engineer, inventor and cartoonist. But it's not good when your dad dies. It's not good for your mum either, and so I remembered Michael Rosen's Sad Book, which they didn't have.

So I sent for it, to send to them. It's a big book -- a bit taller than A4 and qu
What a powerful and honest book. It very nearly had me in tears at work today. Like Shaun Tan's the Red Tree, The Sad Book acknowledges that negative emotions like sadness, anger and depression are not solely an adult concern but something that happens to people of all ages.
What makes Michael Rosen's Sad Book special, and likely to resonate just as deeply with adults as with children, is the deeply personal way in which Rosen talks about his own sadness after his son's death. His straightforwar
Franco  Santos
Un libro muy corto, que leì por YouTube. Es bastante depresivo; pero porque nos muestra un poco de lo que le pasa a la mayoría de las personas: La Tristeza. Pensé que iba a ser un poco más motivador; me desilusionó en ese aspecto. Claro que no por eso lo odio, pero tengo que decir que esperaba más. Asimismo como me quejo de que no es lo suficientemente motivador, me hubiera gustado que fuese más triste y chocante.
Laura Noto
Oct 04, 2009 Laura Noto rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
Michael Rosen’s Sad Book an extremely unique picture book for specific children and adults. It is a book written in 1st person about being sad. He describes what it feels like to be sad, why he is sad, and what he can think about to bring him hope. There are simple yet emotional illustrations throughout the entire book. The content of this book is strong and honest. Adults and parents could empathize with the phrases and pictures displayed in this book. High school students and mature ch
Clare Sandley
This book hit me like a tonne of bricks.

Everyone has experienced loss. Personally, a close relative passing away when I was aged 9 is my only real experience. At the time I held an understanding of the extremities of death and how my life would be changed, but the emotions were a lot harder to comprehend. Reflecting as a 21 year old, I wish I had been given this book.

By page 3 I knew I was reading a hard-hitting story:

"What makes me most sad is when I think about my son Eddie. He died. I loved
Aug 17, 2012 Alison rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
This wonderful book, illustrated by Quentin Blake, describes Michael Rosen's grief at the death of his son. It vividly describes the on-going and non-linear process of bereavement: that sometimes he has moments of happiness in the midst of his loss, and sometimes feels anger and resentment too. This would be a great book for children of all primary ages, for a teacher to read to the class as part of PHSE or RE lessons talking about death and bereavement. In my 20 years of teaching, I have never ...more
Blythe Williams
The difficult thing abut reading this book, is knowing that the loss Rosen describes is real. As adults, we have all experienced loss and I can really empathise with how he dealt with the loss of his son and the emotions he experienced. The illustrations (as done by Quentin Blake) are perfect accompaniments to the writing, and are accessible by children and adults alike. The last illustration is of Rosen sat at his desk with a candle and a picture frame - perhaps the anniversary of his son's dea ...more
Sep 02, 2012 Hannah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Michael Rosen, whose son died at the age of 18, places himself as the main character and narrator in this poignant book about the sadness caused by losing a loved one. In the book Rosen talks about the complicated thoughts and emotions that he experiences and the ways in which he copes with them.

I can imagine this book being used to support aspects of PSHE, with the aim of encouraging sensitivity to our own and other people’s emotions and feelings. In the book the character expresses his sadness
Casey Strauss
Jul 18, 2010 Casey Strauss rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: international
This picture book is an incredibly honest look at grief and sadness. The narrator and main character is Michael Rosen, the author of the book. Right away, on page one, is a drawing of the author smiling. Under the picture it says, “This is me being sad. Maybe you think I’m happy in this picture. Really I’m sad but pretending I’m happy.” As we turn the pages, we learn that he is mourning the sudden loss of his son, Eddie. There are days when he wants to talk about it, but then there are days when ...more
Alice Reedy
Sep 03, 2015 Alice Reedy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Michael Rosen’s Sad Book is a unique text. Rarely is this kind of honest emotion expressed in children’s literature in such a straightforward way.

With simplicity and sincerity, this book depicts Rosen’s grief at the death of his son, Eddie, at age 18. The first page presents an image of a man smiling, accompanied by the words ‘This is me being sad. Maybe you think I am happy in this picture. Really I’m sad but pretending I am happy.’ These heartbreaking and truthful descriptions of grief contin
Nov 11, 2012 Chris1988 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1
This book is about how Rosen tried to cope with death of his young son.
This book is a great way to approach the subject of death. Rosen's ‘Sad Book’ is a unique way of tackling a difficult subject head on by exploring the effects of the death of a love one and the coping mechanisms that follow. Written in an accessible child friendly way makes this book an amazing tool in the primary classroom. Death is an unfortunate fact of life, with no respect of age and whom it affects. Although children a
Jul 19, 2010 S10_Abby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: international
This book is exactly what the title says – it’s sad. It is Michael Rosen’s honest description of his emotions after his son, Eddie died. Roesn goes through all of the stages of grief in the book, but the book does not unrealistically end with a happy ending. On the last page there are no words, just an illustration of Rosen sitting at a desk writing with the light of a single candle and a picture frame of what we can only assume is of his son. We are left feeling hopeful for Rosen as his life co ...more
Alice Nachir
Jan 15, 2013 Alice Nachir rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is written in an autobiographical style. Michael Rosen who is the author of this book, discusses the various sad and devastating events that happened in his life such as his son and mother's death. He mentions the various emotions he goes through such as frustration, depression and doing strange and silly things such as making funny noises in the shower. He then goes on to talk about his happy moments when he is thinking about the past, and then suddenly, he realises they are not comin ...more
 (NS) Amie
Nov 11, 2009 (NS) Amie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This concept book is about sadness. Michael Rosen is sad because he misses his mother who died. He is sad because he misses his beloved son who died, and he is sad because he is all alone and has no one to talk to. Rosen writes about all the crazy things he does because of his sadness, like shouting in the shower and banging a spoon on the table. Sometimes his sadness makes him so angry. How could his son leave him alone like that? He doesn't want his sadness to hurt so much and tries to think o ...more
David Schaafsma
I read this because I am reading books about fathers and sons, and sometimes books about grief. This one is really great, and powerful, in that it is written by a celebrated children's book illustrator who lost his young son. Not surprisingly, since the book deals with this loss, it's a book about grief, which seems to broaden to the extended, sometimes almost crippling depression Rosen experiences. This book is Rosen's attempt to speak to kids about the sadness they may experience because of lo ...more
Jul 20, 2010 S10_tommccormack rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: international
Ages: 9 and up

"Michael Rosen's Sad Book" is a meditation on sadness that was inspired by the death of the author's son, Eddie. It is illustrated by Quentin Blake, the artist who famously brought Roald Dahl's stories to life.

This book is appealing because it tackles a topic that is rarely touched upon in literature for young adults, and it does so in a very direct manner. The tone is sobering and adults will likely connect with the text even more than children.

Quentin Blake's hauntingly beautif
Jul 19, 2013 Rose rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This beautiful and honest book is a story of how sadness affects everyone, any time and anywhere; "It comes along and finds you." Michael Rosen talks openly about feeling sad and how he deals with it. What makes him feel most sad is the death of his son, Eddie. I find it a very deep and meaningful book that could be interpreted as an explanation of depression therefore I would consider this book to be suitable for children aged 8 years and up.

I really like this story because of its openness and
Lauren Carlow
I found that the illustrations told this story, the powerful use of colour to represent mood was particularly evident throughout every page.
I think that this book explores loss in a very thoughtful and honest way, and highlights the different stages of grief that people go through.
When I first read the ending, I thought it was slightly strange. However, when rereading it, I thought that it was very poignant finishing on a picture of him with a lit candle and a photo , to me this represented th
Jan 22, 2012 Lucy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Sad Book by Michael Rosen is very aptly named. It is a very sad book based on the story of a father and how he copes with the death of his son. Bereavement is a sensitive subject but one that unfortunately can be experienced by children so it is important to address the issue and not hide from it. In this story the father talks about smiling and looking happy as he feels that people wont like him otherwise. This may be true of some children and when discussed could bring some comfort. I thin ...more
Simon Joseph
Nov 14, 2011 Simon Joseph rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Sad Book is a courageous and intensely personal work, very different from anything else I have ever seen from Michael Rosen, who I have always associated more with light poetry.

It is the story of the tragic loss of his son, Eddie, expressed poignantly through his frank and open prose, and the sweet, touching illustrations by Quentin Blake, with whom he has collaborated for many years.

It includes some heartbreaking passages, as he reminisces, but it has some uplifting moments too - without be
May 09, 2012 Jenny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Michael Rosen’s ‘Sad book’ is an intensely personal book quite different to others he has written. Michael Rosen honestly portrays the grief he experienced following the death of his son. This book explores how he copes with his sadness. Sometimes the sadness overwhelms him but he tries to think of things that will help him deal with it. Quentin Blake’s illustrations complement the text really well. When Michael Rosen looks back on happy times he shared with his son the images are bright and col ...more
Jun 14, 2012 Ivan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sad Book by Michael Rosen is a very powerful book which, from the very first page grabs your attention by the heart. It begins with a colourful protrait of the author showing a big smile but underneath it states that 'this is me sad'. The next page shows a monochrome image of what he really feels like inside and there and then you forget everything and everyone around you and just focus on passing the pages. And before you know it you have finished reading the book and are left in deep thought. ...more
Henry Martin
Sep 18, 2013 Henry Martin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-books
An interesting little book. Actually, a sad little book, so the title is more than appropriate. Michael Rosen dopes something here that we do not often see in children's books - he touches upon coping with tragic events. Children, like adults, experience tragic events in their lives, and many times their feelings are not addressed in a reassuring way. This book addresses sadness, depression, even death of a child and a parent. For this reason, I decided to rate this book. It is rare to find such ...more
Apr 29, 2012 Melinda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Melinda Dye - Picture Book

Sometimes we can express why we're sad. Sometimes we can't. Sometimes talking to someone will help. Sometimes it won't. We all cope with sadness in our own way, and the "Sad Book" by Michael Rosen explores just that. The main character has lost his son. He looks happy on the outside, but inside he is sad. He copes by shouting in the shower, banging things on the table, and trying to talk it out. He tries to find something fun to do, or find some happiness in an accompli
Aug 20, 2008 george rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Michael Rosen is sad. He's sad for a lot of reasons, mainly because he misses his son and his mum, both of whom have died. Rosen writes about how sad makes him feel, and what he does when he's sad. He writes about things he does to try and help his sadness. Overall, he writes that it's okay and normal to be sad.

While this is very heavy subject material, it could be just the thing for a child who has lost someone close to him. Rosen tells us that it's not bad to be sad as long as we don't hurt a
Hard to say you really liked a book on sadness and depression, but I think it was really well done. The author talks about losing his son Eddie and how sad that made he feel, as well as how sadness pops up in everyday life. I think that the text, along with Quentin Blake's illustrations, is a good visual for describing depression and what it feels like to kids who either may not have experienced it or more likely have. I know I could identify with part of the book. I did like that despite the fa ...more
Nov 24, 2013 Jacoba rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Michael Rosen's Sad Book by Michael Rosen (2005)
Genre: Fiction
Format: Book
Plot summary:A man tells about all the emotions that accompany his sadness over the death of his son, and how he tries to cope.
Considerations or precautions for readers advisory (strong language, sex, death, religious overtones, violence, etc.)Deals with death
Review citation (if available):Long, Joanna Rudge Horn Book Magazine , May/June 2005, Vol. 81 Issue 3, p313-314, 2p
Section source used to find the material: In class
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Michael Rosen, a recent British Children’s Laureate, has written many acclaimed books for children, including WE'RE GOING ON A BEAR HUNT, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury, and I’M NUMBER ONE and THIS IS OUR HOUSE, both illustrated by Bob Graham. Michael Rosen lives in London.

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.
More about Michael Rosen...

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