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Author: Michael Rosen

Illustrator: Quentin Blake

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Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers, 2011

Material: paperback

Summary: In this biographical book, Michael Rosen explains the feelings that come with his son Eddie's death. The simple text explains his grieving thoughts. It also shares the ways he tries to cope with losing someone close to you. This is a picture book about grief and coping with loss. This is a high interest / low reading level book.

Type of Reading: family reading, read aloud

Recommended Age: read together: 9 to 12; read yourself: 8 and Up

Interest Level: 10 and Up

Reading Level: 2.3

Young Reader Reaction: Review pending. This is a book to share on a very specific occasion, with a child who can relate to it.

Adult Reader Reaction: In a word, this Michael Rosen's Sad Book is raw. He pulls no punches about the feelings that come with losing someone close to you. It is a picture book, but it is for more an older audience. Mature readers dealing with loss or death may find comfort in this story. It is sad, but it has a comforting "I'm not alone" way about it, and Rosen has suggestions they can try to help get them through their grief.

Pros: This very special book could be great comfort to a preteen or teen dealing with the loss of someone they are close to.

Cons: This is not a fairy tale. It is not a story to teach preschoolers and elementary students about the emotion of sadness. This is a deeper study of grief and loss.

Borrow or Buy: Buy. This is not a happily-ever-after book, but each of us has (or will) lose someone close to us. For a pre-teen / teen struggling with the feelings of loss and grief, this can be a comfort. It will be a book they come back to as they wrestle with their emotions.


Educational Themes: This is a picture book where the reader takes the lead on whether / not they want to talk about their feelings.

Notes: A Reading Tub® volunteer submitted this review. She received the book as a gift from a friend.

Literary Categories: Nonfiction - picture book, death and loss, emotions

Date(s) Reviewed: December 2015

Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews and reader feedback at and


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