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Monday, January 21, 2019

When Sadness Is At Your Door, by Eva Eland. Penguin Random House, 2019. $23.99 ages 4 and up

"Try not to be afraid
of sadness.
Give it a name.
Listen to it. Ask where
it comes from and what
it needs.
If you don't understand
each other, just sit
together and be quiet for
a while.
Find something that you
both enjoy, like drawing ... "

I read this morning that the third Monday in January is designated Blue Monday, despite the fact that there is absolutely no scientific proof to support it being so. The holiday season has passed, winter still has many of us in its icy grip, and those who suffer with Seasonal Affective Disorder are definitely wishing for bright, warm sunshine to help combat the gloomy, cloudy days we have been experiencing for some time now. The winter blahs can get us down; some more than others.

So, when this very timely and sensitive book was delivered this morning, I thought I would tell you about it. Eva Eland gives sadness substance ... as a shaped, bluish-greenish being. Sadness arrives at the door of a young child, holding a suitcase and making its presence known without any advance notice. It simply arrives. We are shown that it stays close to the child, and cannot be hidden. It even feels overwhelming.

By communicating with Sadness, the child is able to chart a new path. Together, they gather themselves up to experience things they might both enjoy: drawing, music, hot chocolate, the outdoors, a walk in nature. Does it lessen the impact? It seems so for this small child. Rather than giving in to being angry about how the child is feeling, the acceptance of the emotion's presence brings some peace.

There are times when we all feel sad. What we do about it can make all the difference. The endpapers express that sentiment clearly. This book for the young offers an opportunity for discussion and action.

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