Title: When Sadness Comes to Call
Author: Eva Eland
Illustrator: Eva Eland
When Sadness comes knocking at the door unexpectedly, it can’t be ignored. Written in second person and by personifying Sadness, this book suggests that if you begin to feel overwhelmed by sadness there are things you can do to try to understand it and Sadness might surprise you.
The pastel shades and simple line drawings Eva has used in this book really reflect the tone and message of this story. In fact, she only uses three colours throughout: pink, green and brown. There are not many words and yet Eva has captured the feeling of sadness perfectly and most importantly, in a way children will be able to relate to. Often, we can try to hide our sadness and a child could feel worried telling a parent that. In this spread, Eva has shown how hard it is to hide sadness, not through words, but by the child pushing on the door.
Eva doesn’t just talk about sadness; she has woven in ways to deal with it. I particularly loved the line: “If you don’t understand each other, just sit together and be quiet for a while”. This is such a powerful message. Sometimes we don’t know why we feel sad, we just are, and actually, it’s okay in that situation to just take some time for yourself and then try doing something you enjoy. That goes for children and adults alike!
This book is beautiful in its simplicity and powerful in its message. I just had one tiny niggle that stopped me from giving this book five stars. Eva suggestions for how to cope with sadness are very effective for me bar one: taking a walk in the forest. This was the only “way to cope with sadness” that momentarily pulled me out of the story because I found my Mum-Brain kicking in, “I don’t want my daughter to go into a forest on her own because she’s sad”. All of the other suggestions (drawing, listening to music, sleeping etc.) could easily be done by a child independently of a parent, so the forest scene felt like a step away from the narrative.
That said, this is an exceptional debut and I hope it will be stocked in every school and library because all children can feel sad at times and this book is a lovely way to help them think about how to deal with those sad moments.
Picture Book Perfect Rating:
Four and a half out of five stars.
Publisher: Andersen Press
Publication date: 3 January 2019
ISBN: 978 1783447183
I am very grateful to the publisher for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.