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Michael Rosen - Author

About the Author

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

Featured books by Michael Rosen

Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Cake

5+ readers

Author: Michael Rosen Illustrator: Kevin Waldron, Kevin Waldron Format: Paperback Release Date: 30/04/2018

When I was a boy, I had a favourite treat. It was when my mum made . . . CHOCOLATE CAKE! Ohhh! I LOVED chocolate cake.  Brought to life as a picture book for the first time with brilliant and characterful illustrations by Kevin Waldron.

ebook of the month
Centrally Heated Knickers

Centrally Heated Knickers

9+ readers 11+ readers

Author: Michael Rosen Illustrator: Harry Horse Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/10/2017

Discover the weird and wonderful world of martians, woolly saucepans and centrally heated knickers in 100 poems about science and technology from the delightfully irreverent, Michael Rosen.

ebook of the month
What's So Special About Shakespeare?

What's So Special About Shakespeare?

7+ readers 9+ readers

Author: Michael Rosen Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/03/2016

Shakespeare’s writing was extraordinary four hundred years ago, and it’s still extraordinary today says Michael Rosen in this splendid and inspiring introduction to the bard. Rosen demonstrates to young people just why Shakespeare is still acted, read and quoted today and how his work still shapes our language and culture.  His enthusiasm is irresistible. Taking examples from Romeo and Juliet he shows how relevant the play still is to young people and explains – clearly and succinctly – how the action, characters and dramatic tension still affect modern audiences. There’s also fascinating information about Shakespeare’s life, times and schooling and about the first Globe Theatre, and this is one of the very best books to introduce children to Shakespeare. ~ Andrea Reece

ebook of the month
Fantastic Mr Dahl

Fantastic Mr Dahl

9+ readers 11+ readers

Author: Michael Rosen Illustrator: Quentin Blake Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/09/2012

Just how did Roald Dahl get into writing? Where did he get his ideas from? What ingredients in his life turned him into the kind of writer he was? Michael Rosen - poet, broadcaster and former Children's Laureate, comes up with some of the answers to these key questions in his lively biography of the world's Number1 storyteller. Full of stories and funny anecdotes from Roald Dahl's school days and family life, Michael Rosen's fascinating observations creates a vivid picture of one of the most famous writers of all time.

ebook of the month

Other books by Michael Rosen

Sticky McStickstick The Friend Who Helped Me Walk Again

Sticky McStickstick The Friend Who Helped Me Walk Again

Author: Michael Rosen Illustrator: Tony Ross Format: Hardback Release Date: 04/11/2021

A powerful and personal story from one of Britain's best-loved authors about his recovery from coronavirus. After being admitted to hospital in 2020 with coronavirus, Michael Rosen had to learn to walk again. With the support of doctors and nurses and a walking stick he names Sticky McStickstick , he manages to embark on the slow steps to recovery. This moving picture book from the former Children's Laureate, with illustrations from Tony Ross, tells a story of perseverance and hope, and is a testament to the importance of overcoming fear and learning to accept help.

What is Right and Wrong? Who Decides? Where Do Values Come From? And Other Big Questions

What is Right and Wrong? Who Decides? Where Do Values Come From? And Other Big Questions

Author: Michael Rosen, Annemarie Young Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 23/09/2021

Every day we make decisions that are underpinned by our ideas of what is right and wrong. But where do these ideas come from? Where do our values come from and who decides which values are used in a society? This book is a highly topical look at how our decisions about what is right and wrong play out on an indvidual, local, national and global scale. It examines topics that are strongly connected to the values people hold and their ideas of right and wrong, such as democracy, justice, fairness, prejudice and discrimination, education, climate change and war. There are contributions from Laura Bates, Richard Rieser, Tulip Siddiq and Alex Wheatle, who, along with the authors, discuss how their ideas of what is right and wrong have been shaped by their life experiences. Readers are encouraged to think for themselves about the issues discussed and decide which values are important to them.

Alphabetical How Every Letter Tells a Story

Alphabetical How Every Letter Tells a Story

Author: Michael Rosen Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/09/2021

From minding your Ps and Qs to wondering why X should mark the spot, Alphabetical is a book for everyone who loves words and language. Whether it's how letters are arranged on keyboards or Viking runes, textspeak or zip codes, this book will change the way you think about letters for ever. How on Earth did we fix upon our twenty-six letters, what do they really mean, and how did we come to write them down in the first place? Michael Rosen takes you on an unforgettable adventure through the history of the alphabet in twenty-six vivid chapters, fizzing with personal anecdotes and fascinating facts. Starting with the mysterious Phoenicians and how sounds first came to be written down, he races on to show how nonsense poems work, pins down the strange story of OK, traces our seven lost letters and tackles the tyranny of spelling, among many, many other things. His heroes of the alphabet range from Edward Lear to Phyllis Pearsall (the inventor of the A-Z), and from the two scribes of Beowulf to rappers. Each chapter takes on a different subject - codes, umlauts or the writing of dictionaries. Rosen's enthusiasm for letters positively leaps off the page, whether it's the story of his life told through the typewriters he's owned or a chapter on jokes written in a string of gags and word games. So if you ever wondered why Hawaiian only has a thirteen-letter alphabet or how exactly to write down the sound of a wild raspberry, read on . . .

Mad in the Back

Mad in the Back

Author: Michael Rosen Illustrator: Richard Watson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/09/2021

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. All together now: Are we nearly there yet...? A hilarious tale from beloved author Michael Rosen now in a hi-lo, dyslexia-friendly format for the struggling middle grade reader.

The Quest for Authenticity The Thought of Reb Simhah Bunim

The Quest for Authenticity The Thought of Reb Simhah Bunim

Author: Michael Rosen Format: Hardback Release Date: 31/08/2021

The Missing: The True Story of My Family in World War II

The Missing: The True Story of My Family in World War II

Author: Michael Rosen Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/08/2021

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. When Michael was growing up, stories often hung in the air about his great-uncles: one was a clock-mender and the other a dentist. They were there before the war, his dad would say, and weren't after. Over many years, Michael tried to find out exactly what happened: he interviewed family members, scoured the internet, pored over books and traveled to America and France. The story he uncovered was one of terrible persecution - and it has inspired his poetry for years since. Here, poems old and new are balanced against an immensely readable narrative; both an extraordinary account and a powerful tool for talking to children about the Holocaust.

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