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173 of 173 people found the following review helpful
on 24 June 2006
It took me a couple of reads to realise just how much Blake's illustrations added to the spare, bold text. It was as if Rosen, in his grief, had left some things unsaid and Blake had picked up on this and helped out. I've always liked his illustrations but this book brings out a different side of him - more expressionist - his figures and landscapes (some beautifully economical use of watercolour)seem to bypass the brain and go straight to the solar plexus.

Some people are worried that the bald realism of this book is too much for younger children. But what about those who've already lost someone close to them? Surely they need help in visualising their experience. Ever since my daughter died I've been trying to find ways of telling my autistic son about her. I said all the usual stuff, but he became inconsolable and cried as if heartbroken. I've left it alone for months and then suddenly found this book. I knew it would be perfect for him, as he has SUCH a visual intelligence. It was. He asked me to read it again and again and pointed out aspects of the pictures that I had failed to notice.

My other daughter is a little wary of it, but I feel it will reach her in time.

If you want to help someone deal with loss, please don't be afraid of this book.
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93 of 95 people found the following review helpful
on 11 April 2005
Michael Rosens Sad Book is an astonishing achievement.
Poignant, saddening and thought provoking, though do not be fooled, this is not just a childs picture books.
Even the most toughened of adults would find it nigh-on impossible to muster anyhing other than a tear.
Michael Rosen lost his son, Eddie, to meningitis when he was just 19. After the collapse of his marriage, Michael Rosen perhaps lost for a while his familiar cheery side of his other incredible poetry books.
Having met the man myself, I can confirm that despite his setbacks this man is a super guy and has more warmth and softness than anyone else I have ever met.
Sad Book is simply put unlike anything you will ever read. Do not be put off by it being about saddness and depression. As he puts it himself, he is not bad, but sad.
You will not regret this amazingly honest and open book.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 29 March 2008
Rosen has produced a gem and as people have said the pictures are perfect for it.
An unusual book, a must buy if you want kids to be able to take feelings seriously.
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48 of 51 people found the following review helpful
on 16 November 2004
There's not much you can really say to describe this book. It's unlike anything else I've ever read, in the best possible way. All I can think is how brave Michael Rosen must be to put what are obviously the most intimate feelings into a book like this. Buy it.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 22 December 2006
I was having a clear out before the Big guy in Red comes along,and i came cross this book. At first i put it in the pile to take to the charity shop, but then i read it. How could i possibly give this away? It is SUCH AN IMPORTANT BOOK. Im going to give it to my daughter to read when she comes home, cos she gets quite sad sometimes (dont we all)? This book doesn't just help with bereavement it helps children to understand their emotions.

I love you Michael Rosen. God Bless.
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76 of 82 people found the following review helpful
This is a sad book, a very sad book. It is aptly titled. Yes, it's unlike the majority of books intended for young readers. There aren't any rhymes or happy endings. It's a story, more of a journal really about the way Michael Rosen is trying to cope with the death of his son, Eddie.
Why give a sad book to children? Because there are times when we are sad, life is sad. However, this book is also about love and how very much Rosen loved his son. It's also a book about possibilities. All the things you can do when your life seems bleak. Maybe we can't be too young to learn these lessons.
Rosen talks about trying to look happy because he thinks people won't like him if he looks sad, and he mentions trying to do one thing he can be proud of every day. Then, when he goes to bed he tries to think about that rather than the fact that Eddie is no longer with him. He doesn't sidestep the anger he feels at Eddie's death or the memories that flood his mind.
Quentin Blake has won numerous awards for his illustrations, deservedly so. He illustrates this book not just with watercolor and ink but also with empathetic awareness.
This is a very honest book that cannot fail to touch hearts, and it may perhaps teach young ones to be kind and relish every day.
- Gail Cooke
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38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on 26 November 2004
An amazingly successful book in bringing together words and pictures in a way which touches you immediately. Very helpful if you're struggling with sadness yourself (though don't start reading it in the bookshop if you are! Take it home first [after buying it obviously!]).
As a book for both children and adults to help them access and understand sadness, I think it's unparalleled. Reaches much more widely than bereavement.
Lose your guilt over feeling sad! Read this book!
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65 of 71 people found the following review helpful
on 13 August 2005
Summary: Covers a lot of important areas in bereavement in an accessible and sensitive way.
Reviewer: West London, works in helping profession, sometimes with bereaved people.
I was impressed with this book becauses it says or conveys so much in a digestible, insightful and empathic way. It's the best 'introduction to bereavement' I've come across and manages to get the emotional tone just right - some hope, some humour, some tips, but an acknowledgement that the sadness can be overwhelming at times (and doesn't go away in a hurry). Particularly useful for people who have lost children, or adult children as the author lost his son at 18, but relevant to most bereavements. Illustrations are great too and contribute a great deal to the impact and perceptiveness. Consider this a 'group review' because some people I know who are struggling with bereavement thought a lot of the book too - and felt understood.
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
I used to read "Quick, Let's get out of here!" to an appreciative group of 7 year olds. They loved the chocolate cake, but I got more requests to hear the tales of "Eddie and the nappy" than any other poem in the book. To read of Eddie's death in this book was heartbreaking. It's not an easy book to read to children but it is important. Sad is all around and children understand this. Buy this book, it is an essential addition to any child's bookshelf.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 29 July 2008
A lovely book, recommended by a friend.
Those who have lost someone close, whoever it is should read this book. It tells it like it is. Have brought an extra copy for another friend.
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