Mad in the Back by Michael Rosen

Mad in the Back

Written by Michael Rosen
Illustrated by Richard Watson

5+ readers   Super-readable Dyslexia-friendly   3+ readers   
Download an extract Add to wishlist Share this book

The Lovereading4Kids comment

A Dyslexia Friendly Picture Book for Parent and Child

It’s hard to know who will laugh more at this new picture book, children or their parents! Any adult who has undergone a long car journey with kids will be familiar with the phrase ‘I can’t drive properly if you two are going mad in the back’! Michael Rosen and Richard Watson describe just such a journey, and make it really funny. Mum’s frustration and irritation grows as the two in the back bicker, fight and make endless demands for drinks, until she eventually explodes! Sounds familiar? The pictures are hilarious and it’s brilliant for reading out loud too. Read and enjoy in the comfort of your home, not on the road. ~ Andrea Reece

Publisher Barrington Stoke was inspired to create the Picture Squirrel Books titles after meeting a man with dyslexia at a book event. “We were approached by a gentleman who told us that it broke his heart that he couldn’t read to his child because of his dyslexia,” M.D. Mairi Kidd told The Bookseller. “So we talked to Michael Morpurgo, who we were already working with on low text books [textbooks that use a limited number of words]." The layout of picture books can be difficult for adults with dyslexia as the language and typeface are often very varied, the text can be cut into small chunks or is sometimes spun around a picture, which can make a book tricky if you don’t have good reading skills. Barrington Stoke worked with the authors and illustrators to ensure that the books are suitable for dyslexic readers and thereby helping more families grow a love of reading.

On the Picture Squirrels...Michael Morpurgo says: “I was immediately taken with the idea of the Picture Squirrel books, a picture book list that dyslexic parents and less confident readers can read with their
children too.”


Mad in the Back by Michael Rosen

A hilarious snapshot of a familiar aspect of family life, told with Michael Rosen’s trademark wit and genius for language. This deliciously anarchic book, joyously illustrated and written by a national treasure, is perfect for sharing and will be loved by children and parents alike.

Two siblings drive their mother to distraction on the car journey from hell, while Mum tries every trick in the book to get them to behave, from cunning distractions - Look! It's a LAMP-POST - to threats of abandonment by the side of the road. All together now: Are we nearly there yet?

Part of Barrington Stoke's picture book range for all the family, with easy-read font.

Sharing stories is one of the best things families can do for their children and the Picture Squirrel books published by Barrington Stoke all contain a cluster of dyslexia-friendly features to help and support parents and carers with dyslexia so that they too can enjoy great books with children in their care.

About the Author

Michael Rosen

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.

Join Michael Rosen as he attempts to break the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title for the Largest reading lesson at 10am on Tues. 15 July. Watch below.

Michael Rosen on Michael Rosen:

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

More books by this author

Loading similar books...

Other Formats

Book Info


32 pages


Michael Rosen
More books by Michael Rosen

Author's Website

Author's Facebook Latest


Barrington Stoke Ltd

Publication date

15th September 2015




I love all the books they recommend & put up for me to review. I also love the fact that they give new authors the chance to share their boo

Daisy Pennock – age 15

I love lovereading4kids because I’ve read amazing books I would never have picked up, and its opened doors to new genre’s I now love.

Harriet Cunningham

It has introduced my children to books we hadn’t come across before. Real children’s reviews gives a great insight into what others think to

Lorraine Woods

This company is amazing; not only is it is a great opportunity to get books and review them but everyone is so friendly and supportive!

Jemma Rubens, age 10

It gives me a chance to read types of books that I would not normally try, and it motivates me to read every night to finish it!

Alice Horncastle, age 14

I love Lovereading because I often never know what to read and this helps you find a good book. I have recommended this to many people.

Shannon-Louise Masters – age 15

It’s really exciting to read and review new books, thrilling to see my reviews online and I love finding the final published copies on sale.

Sam Harper – age 10

It is THE website to use for narrowing down your search for any book. Definitely knocks the socks off any other book review website.

Nickey and Tomasz Hawryszczuk

Lovereading 4 schools