Favourite books: Sad Book by Michael Rosen

Welcome to the Friday Club Carnival, a weekly carnival held here. This week’s Carnival is all about favourite books and you’ll find links to other bloggers’ favourite books at the end of this post.


rosen book One of my favourite books is Sad Book by Michael Rosen. As a family, we’ve had much use out of this book over the last two years and I recommend it to anyone who is going through a very sad time or who is helping someone else come to terms with loss or sadness.

It is not a book to read to anyone who is not sad, just so you know :).

Rosen wrote the Sad Book after losing his teenage son Eddie to illness and you can feel the ache and loss in every word he writes. Illustrations are by Quentin Blake and are sparse but incredibly detailed and also weirdly vibrant, capturing the really difficult range of emotions that Rosen’s words portray.

I think what I like about it most is that it is dark and bleak because if you are sad, you feel dark and bleak and you want to know that that’s ok; that other people feel like that too when they are sad.

back coverHis words show how despair, anger and hopelessness are part of sadness and that’s what you feel for a while. But then those times give ways to memories and those memories can make you happy and give you hope for the future.

Be warned, you will read this and cry.

If you’re reading it as a family, you may have a little group cry.

If you don’t need this book now, feel blessed. And remember it for the future because it is wonderful, even if the subject matter is not.

You can buy Sad Book in the UK here and in the US here (apologies for leaving you out if you’re from elsewhere!)

What’s your favourite book?

Here are the other entries in this Book Club Carnival:

Jax from Making It Up reviews ten favourite books she loves to read with her children in My favourite books. Kelly from Domestic Goddesque posts about the book that gave her back the joy of losing yourself in a book in I read books once. Now I have small children. Jenny from GingerBread House reviews her favourite book: Orla Kiely – Pattern. Nova from Cherished By Me posts about the books that fuelled her passion for reading in My favourite book. Not So Single Mum from Diary of a (not so) Single Mum reviews The Lady in the Tower. Becky from Book Reviews for Mums reviews the book that opened her up to her responsibilities and the choices she makes in life in My Favourite Book. Helen from Cheeky Wipes reviews her favourite books in From Riders to The God Delusion – my favourite books. Cass from The Diary of a Frugal Family reviews her first and favourite cookbook in Where It All Began. Cara from Freckles Family reviews a favourite from the past few years in A Favourite Book. Maggy from Red Ted Art reviews a recent gift, a Pop-up, Pull-out, Picture Atlas. Updated: Merry from Patch of Puddles lists some of her favourite books in One from each shelf.

24 thoughts on “Favourite books: Sad Book by Michael Rosen

  1. Pingback: My Favourite Book — Book Reviews For Mums

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  3. Pingback: Red Ted Art's Blog » Blog Archive » Review – Pop-up, Pull-out, Picture Atlas

  4. Pingback: A favourite book » Freckles Family

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  6. Anonymous

    Oh sounds very sad. Lovely review though. Sorry didn’t get round to joining in this week. Will strive to be more organised next time! x

  7. CherishedByMe

    Thank you for telling us about it Ella.
    A book which never fails to make the tears flow for me, although it is probably nothing like the one you write about, is Grandad’s Prayers of The Earth. Makes me well up thinking about it. X

  8. Sophie

    I’ve read this book and I completely agree, it is incredibly sad, but an important and helpful book for the times when you need it. x

  9. Eva

    Thanks for the recommendation. I’ve not read this yet, not needed to so, yes, blessed but I am certain to remember it for the one day we almost certainly will need something like this.

  10. Fran

    I haven’t read the book but I LOVE Quentin Blake’s illustrations and I would buy it on the strength of those alone.

  11. Make do mum

    Michael Rosen is great, he came to my junior school for a poetry/workshop type thing. I saw him on telly the other day and he still looks exactly the same.
    Bereavement is a difficult subject so anything that helps is a good thing.

  12. leila

    This looks lovely Ella.

    Thanks for another great carnival, I really enjoy all the different topics you cover each week. Xx

  13. maggy, red ted art

    I am sorry to hear that you have had to make “Much use” of this book over the last couple of years, but at the same time, glad that you had the book to help you get through some difficult and sad experiences. It is always good to have some great recommendations like this, though I do hope we don’t “have” to use it!

    Thank you for the post!


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