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Michael Rosen is a hugely bestselling author of picture books and poetry. Michael frequently appears on radio and gives talks and lectures on children’s literature. Michael was the Children’s Laureate for 2007–2009 and the winner of the Eleanor Farjeon Award. He lives in London.
Michael Rosen on Michael Rosen:
I grew up in the London suburb of Pinner, a place my parents often wondered about. How had we landed there? My parents were teachers, politically committed (socialists), and great storytellers and readers. I was lucky to have found them.
Most of my adult life, I've been a freelance writer, teacher (of sorts), journalist, performer and broadcaster. I visit schools doing my one-man show, and support Arsenal Football Club.
I have often written about my life and family, but I also write occasional fantasy (usually based in a real place) and non-fiction.
Things you didn't know about Michael Rosen
I wear size 12 shoes.
I like speaking French.
I'm an atheist.
I love mobile phones.
I love houmous.
I can't live without green warty pickled gherkins.
I hate racism.
My father was American.
I can slide my top lip one way and my bottom lip the other.
I can play the harmonica.
Photo credit Laurence Cendroicz
Adapted from the original poem in the wonderful first poetry anthology A Great Big Cuddle that Michael Rosen says, in his Note to Grown- ups, was inspired by watching his youngest child getting angry, this captures perfectly the all-consuming feeling of being at the epicentre of a toddler tantrum. Robert Starling’s glorious illustrations and the bold design perfectly compliment the brilliant rhymes. I have never seen a fiercer or more grumpy kitten! It is all about the eyes which glare furiously from the front cover and on the opening red endpapers. Hugely expressive eyes and body language also characterise the other animals that bear the brunt of kitten’s fury. The scared spider is a particular delight. White space and bold colour are used to great effect throughout and just as kitten is busy painting the sky read and filling the page… its all over and a tired little kitten snuggles his faithful little friend and goes to sleep and the final pale blue endpapers show sleeping eyes! This will reassure toddlers overwhelmed by their feelings that it does not last for ever and they are loved and safe. Very young children will really be able to engage with this valuable message and will enjoy the rhythmic and imaginative language and be entranced by the bold images. This is a perfect pairing of author and illustrator and I am already looking forward to I Am Hungry!
Shortlisted for the CLiPPA (CLPE Children’s Poetry Award) 2021 | On the Move is both personal and universal, with messages of home, identity and family. The CLiPPA judges found it full of emotion, delivered with a perfect sense of understatement; they praised the way words and illustrations provide pauses, allowing readers space to think.
12-year-old striker Macbeth has a promising talent on the field. He also has a burning desire to become captain of Shotfield football team, and he is prepared to do whatever it takes. Macbeth's hard-hearted mother also pushes him to succeed - getting ahead to get spotted by academy scouts, even if it means dirty tricks. So when the whistle blows for the big game, fair is foul and fouls are definitely fair!
Interest Age 5-8 | March 2020 Book of the Month | Clever children who use their wits to get the better of much more powerful adversaries star in this duo of stories by the one and only Michael Rosen. Masha escapes a big and thoroughly bad bear in a particularly delicious way, while little Peggy outsmarts her admittedly rather stupid king to win big. Rosen’s lively, direct style make these stories wonderfully accessible for those growing in reading confidence, and Ashley King’s full colour illustrations add to the appeal of this little gem of a book.
Shortlisted for the UKLA Book Awards 2021 | A personal, powerful and resonant account of the Holocaust by one of this country's best-loved children's authors. By turns charming, shocking and heart-breaking, this is the true story of Michael Rosen's search for his relatives who went missing during the Second World War - told through prose, poetry, maps and pictures.
Uncle Gobb is back for a third utterly ridiculous, absolutely hilarious and totally originally told adventure. Michael Rosen and Neal Layton use a brilliant integration of words and pictures to tell this meandering and many-layered story which engages readers with the complexity and creativity of storytelling.
A bestselling title which well-deserves its classic status. It has become the staple of pre-school life across the globe. Told in a simple rhythmic text that's full of action and it is matched by Helen Oxenbury’s wonderful illustrations which perfectly capture the fun and the wide range of emotions of the family day out that the story encompasses. The perfect present for all fans of the much-loved family favourite, this lavish 30th anniversary facsimile edition of We're Going on a Bear Hunt comes with a unique signed limited edition print.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month January 2019 | | This is the 30th anniversary board book edition of this bestselling title which well-deserves its classic status. It has become the staple of pre-school life across the globe. Told in a simple rhythmic text that's full of action and it is matched by Helen Oxenbury’s wonderful illustrations which perfectly capture the fun and the wide range of emotions of the family day out that the story encompasses. Celebrating 30 years of Bear Hunting - visit www.jointhebearhunt.com for everything a bear hunter could need including activities, videos, competitions and tour dates. The book has sold in nearly 30 countries and in over 20 languages.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month November 2018 | Everyone who has ever had a pet will love this funny and charming story about a little boy and the hamster he gets for Christmas. Leo needs cheering up and, with Christmas coming, he takes the opportunity to ask for the one thing that he thinks will make him happy: a pet hamster. Luckily, Dad has Father Christmas’s number on his phone so Leo can order it direct – and get some help from spell-check! But when the hamster comes Leo can see that his new pet is not altogether happy. Hampstead the Hamster needs a present too!
Shortlisted for the CLPE Children’s Poetry Award (CLiPPA) 2017 A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month September 2018 | | Michael Rosen is the bestselling author of We're Going on a Bear Hunt, along with many other picture books and collections of poetry. Packed with silly rhymes, witty wordplay and thought-provoking story poems, this new collection of poems will delight children of all ages.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month October 2018 | | Uncle Gobb is back for a third utterly ridiculous, absolutely hilarious and totally originally told adventure. Michael Rosen and Neal Layton use a brilliant integration of words and pictures to tell this meandering and many-layered story which engages readers with the complexity and creativity of storytelling.
Featuring a selection of rhymes for the very young adapted from Michael Rosen and Chris Riddell’s award-winning A Great Big Cuddle, Wiggly Wiggly is a tour de force of catchy rhythms and bouncy beats, cheerful pictures and cheeky characters. Each of the nine rhymes are made to be read aloud, made to encourage the very littlest to join in with the sounds, the words, the actions (wriggling, bouncing, sloshing, finger walking). The verses will hold their appeal no matter how many times you have to read them (hundreds), while the draughtsmanship and vitality of Chris Riddell’s illustrations takes the breath away with each turn of the page. They’re never too young for poetry and this is an absolute nursery must-have.