Jun 042024
Review: Sad Glad
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Title: Sad Glad
Author: Sidhartha Mallya
Illustrations by: Vibha Surya
Published by: Puffin Books
Type: Paperback
Length: 32 pages
Age recommendation: 5 years and above

‘Sad Glad’ is a children’s book penned by celebrity author, Sidhartha Mallya which delves into choppy waters of depression. The autobiographical book opens to young Sid who is feeling a bit downcast but is puzzled by the new “heavy feeling”. Guidance comes in the form of his pup, Duke who doles out sagely advice about Sid’s feelings.

The author dips into his own journey of overcoming depression and advises readers to embrace all emotions, whether positive and negative. The language oscillates between a rhyming manner (when the dog Duke is counseling Sid) to a regular conversational tone replete with abbreviations. Perhaps this is meant to connect with the millennial audience. The book is complemented with cute illustrations by Vibha Surya who conveys the vibrancy of emotions through colours. Sid’s gloominess is depicted in darker shades and the happier mood is reflected by the use of vibrant bright colours. Whilst the book deals with an all-important topic, the language is lackluster and concepts spoken about will already be familiar to most readers, with no new thoughts being introduced.

Feelings are likened to the weather – something that changes frequently. Duke counsels Sid that one must “experience the rain in order to see a rainbow” and “face fear, in order to be brave”. Animals are known to be a source of support and the author acknowledges his canine Duke who played a pivotal role in his battle against depression.

The highlight of the book was how the concept of “name the emotion to tame it” is illustrated. Whether it’s recognising one’s own emotions and its physical manifestation or learning to identify emotions of others and hence cultivate empathy, this book tries to unravel the complexity of emotions for children.

Well done to the celebrity author for overcoming a dark phase of life and coming out with a book on the same topic to guide others. Overall, a lukewarm literary attempt that aims to preach about feelings to children. Unfortunately, this will be a forgettable book in the vast ocean of literature already available on the same topic.

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Disclaimer: Sowmya is a part of the #kbcReviewerSquad and received this book as a review copy from the publisher via kbc.

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