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When Sadness Comes to Call

Written by Eva Eland

Illustrated by Eva Eland

Part of the Big Emotions Series

Early Years Family / Home Stories Personal Social Health Economic (PSHE)

LoveReading View on When Sadness Comes to Call

Simply and unforgettably conveys a sophisticated message in a masterpiece of minimalism

Winner of the Klaus Flugge Prize 2020 | Longlisted for the UKLA Book Awards 2020

Everyone, children too, knows what it’s like when sadness unexpectedly comes to call, that sense of gloom that is hard to explain, and almost impossible to shake off. The situation is very skilfully depicted in this picture book, which also provides ideas and strategies for ways to cope. A young child is shown opening the door to a doleful, shapeless creature and the two become so close they are almost one. But the invisible narrator has suggestions for ways to help Sadness, so that one day, when the child wakes, it’s gone. The story is very affecting and will be useful to children who have a particular sadness in their lives as well as those who feel it for no reason they can articulate. An important and rather beautiful book.

The Klaus Flugge judges said: ‘beautifully simple and pared back; the page layouts seem sparse and crisp but the work the illustrations are doing is quite extraordinary in terms of the message that sadness is something we might have to live with.’

You can find more books on this theme in our Anxiety & Wellbeing collection.

Andrea Reece

More About This Book

On receiving the Klaus Flugge prize, Eva Eland said: “When Sadness Comes to Call started as a personal exploration of difficult emotions in images and text during my studies at the MA Children’s Book Illustration in Cambridge and when I took my first version of this book to the Children’s Book Fair in Bologna, displayed on the stand of the Cambridge School of Art, I thought I had made something very peculiar and niche and had very little expectations of getting any serious interest. So when Andersen Press approached me and wanted to publish the book, I could hardly believe it. I didn’t think I was ready at all to publish my debut book as I was still studying and learning a lot, but I was gently reminded by my tutors that this was a great opportunity I shouldn’t let pass - and working with my publisher has been a wonderful, uplifting experience. To be shortlisted for the Klaus Flugge Prize was such a delightful surprise and a huge honour, and now I’ve learned I won the award as well! It’s very encouraging to receive recognition like this and it will also help me to dedicate more resources to developing my work further. And I can’t help but smile at the fact that this often unwanted guest, called sadness, is now finding its way and being welcomed by so many more people and children, with a little help from my book and the Klaus Flugge Prize.”

Find out more about the UKLA Book Awards here

When Sadness Comes to Call Synopsis

When Sadness arrives, try not to be afraid: give it a name, listen to it and spend some time together. Maybe all it wants is to know that it's welcome. This beautiful debut by author-illustrator talent Eva Eland takes a poignant but uplifting look at dealing with sadness.

When Sadness Comes to Call Press Reviews

Outstanding, don't miss it. - Irish Independent

Helping children understand their own and other people's feelings is a vital building block for building a more empathetic society. This lovely book sensitively explores the emotion of sadness, and the importance of accepting it. For anyone living or working with children, It's a great springboard for sharing how to handle feelings. -- Miranda McKearney OBE - EmpathyLab

Both gentle and profound, Eland's assured debut takes a poignant look at a difficult emotion. -- Fiona Noble - The Bookseller

This poignant picture book helps children to recognise and understand difficult emotions... A contemplative and ultimately uplifting tale, which will be a welcome addition to any home or school bookshelf. - BookTrust

...[a] contemplative, soft-textured story -- Imogen Russell Williams - The Guardian

Book Information

ISBN: 9781783447954
Publication date: 2nd January 2020
Author: Eva Eland
Illustrator: Eva Eland
Publisher: Andersen Press Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 32 pages
Year Groups: Early Years
Topics: Death / Bereavement, Family / Home Stories, Personal Social Health Economic

About Eva Eland

Eva Eland is a Dutch author and illustrator who lives in England. She earned an MA with distinction in children's book illustration from the Cambridge School of Art, and has also studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy and the School of Visual Arts in New York. When Sadness Comes to Call is her first picture book. Eva grew up in Delft, Netherlands, and now lives in Cambridge with her fiance. Follow Eva Eland on Instagram.  Photo credit: Signefotar

More About Eva Eland

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