A children’s book about the nature of grief seems unlikely but Rosen and Blake’s words and pictures work consummately together to express the various states of mind that we call sadness. Sometimes sadness can be overwhelming and Blake uses a grey wash to express the inner heaviness. Sometimes sadness comes upon us and in a sequence of drawings of Rosen walking along a street, Blake shows how inner feelings of greyness can transform the outside world from a vibrant place full of colour to a barren, grey wilderness.
This book is a communication about the continuing impact of his son Eddie’s death on Rosen. Children who have experienced the death of someone important will be grateful to Rosen for having the courage to acknowledge that he sometimes feels angry with Eddie for dying: ‘I say to myself, “How dare he go and die like that? How dare he make me sad.” He doesn’t say anything because he’s not there any more.’ Death can invoke previous losses and Rosen’s mother is affectionately remembered as well as good times with Eddie, a young man so full of life and promise. But, as Rosen says, ‘sad is anyone. It comes along and finds you.’ That Rosen has found a way to put sadness into words and talk about it in this intensely moving and accessible book will help readers of all ages struggling with their own experiences of loss to find a way to express their feelings.