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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

Send for a Superhero!

Send for a Superhero!

Author: Michael Rosen Illustrator: Katharine McEwen Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 14/04/2021

A bedtime read turns into a very funny superhero adventure in this exciting blend of picture book and comic book storytelling. It's time for bed and Dad is reading Emily and little Elmer a story... Danger! Filth and Vacuum, The Terrible Two, are trying to destroy the world! Who will save the day? Steel Man isn't strong enough; Flying-Through-the-Air-Very-Fast-Man isn't fast enough and Incredibly-Big-Strong-Green-Man isn't big, strong and green enough. Who can help? Clever young Brad 40 has a brilliant idea: he calls on a most unlikely superhero: Incredibly Boring Man, who sends the villains - and everyone else - to sleep! Filth and Vacuum are captured by the army, Brad is a hero, and Dad thinks Emily and Elmer have fallen asleep too. But he's wrong...

Something's Drastic Band 12/Copper

Something's Drastic Band 12/Copper

Author: Michael Rosen Illustrator: Tim Archbold Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 31/03/2021

Build your child's reading confidence at home with books at the right level A range of beautifully illustrated Michael Rosen's poems, including many of his classic works such as 'Down behind the dustbin'. The poems resonate with children's lives as they refer to everyday family life issues such as boredom on long car journeys. Many are appropriate for performance and can provide a framework for children's own writing. Copper/Band 12 books provide more complex plots and longer chapters that develop reading stamina. Text type - Poetry book. A 'feelings wheel' on pages 30 and 31 encourages children to match phrases from the poems to feelings such as 'happy' and 'cross'. This encourages them to scan back through the poems and reflect on how they should be read aloud. Curriculum links - ICT: Combining text and graphics; Music: Play it again - Exploring rhythmic patterns.

Many Different Kinds of Love A story of life, death and the NHS

Many Different Kinds of Love A story of life, death and the NHS

Author: Michael Rosen Format: Hardback Release Date: 18/03/2021

A national treasure's journey to the brink and back. 'Will I wake up?' 'There's a 50:50 chance.' Michael Rosen wasn't feeling well. Soon he was struggling to breathe, and then he was admitted to hospital, suffering from coronavirus as the nation teetered on the edge of a global pandemic. What followed was months on the wards: six weeks in an induced coma, and many more weeks of rehab and recovery as the NHS saved Michael's life, and then got him back on his feet. Throughout Michael's stay in intensive care, a notebook lay at the end of his bed, where the nurses who cared for him wrote letters of hope and support. Embarking on the long road to recovery, Michael was soon ready to start writing about his near-death experience. Combining stunning new prose poems by one of Britain's best loved poets and the moving coronavirus diaries of his nurses, doctors and wife Emma-Louise Williams, this is a beautiful book about love, life and the NHS. Featuring original illustrations by Chris Riddell, each page celebrates the power of community, the importance of kind gestures in dark times, and the indomitable spirits of the people who keep us well.

Michael Rosen's Sad Book

Michael Rosen's Sad Book

Author: Michael Rosen Illustrator: Quentin Blake Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 10/03/2021

A heartbreakingly honest account of a father's grief for his son from the illustrious pairing of two former Children's Laureates. Very occasionally the term non-fiction has to stretch itself to accommodate a book that fits into no category at all. Michael Rosen's Sad Book is such a book. It chronicles Michael's grief at the death of his son Eddie from meningitis at the age of 19. A moving combination of sincerity and simplicity, it acknowledges that sadness is not always avoidable or reasonable and perfects the art of making complicated feelings plain. It wasn't made like any other book either; Michael Rosen said of the text, I wrote it at a moment of extreme feeling and it went straight down onto the page ... Quentin didn't illustrate it, he 'realized' it. He turned the text into a book and as a result showed me back to myself. No writer could ask and get more than that. And Quentin Blake says that the picture of Michael being sad but trying to look happy is the most difficult drawing he's ever done... a moving experience.

We're Going on a Bear Hunt

We're Going on a Bear Hunt

Author: Michael Rosen Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/01/2021

Why do we need art? What do we gain by being creative? And other big questions

Why do we need art? What do we gain by being creative? And other big questions

Author: Michael Rosen, Annemarie Young Format: Hardback Release Date: 26/11/2020

A highly topical look at the role of art and the importance of creativity in our lives and the wider world. Art, in its widest sense, encompasses many different forms, from painting and poetry to dance, pottery and quilting and much else besides. Creativity is an essential part of what makes us human as well as being crucial for a range of disciplines in the world of work, including science, architecture and technological innovation. This book asks many questions relating to the importance of art in our lives, such as where is art and where does the impulse to make art come from? Who are artists? What is art for? Can art change anything? What use is the imagination and what is the point of daydreaming? It includes pieces from a range of contributors, including Kate Clanchy, Lemn Sissay, Preti Taneja and Andria Zafirakou, who write about their relationship with art and describe what being creative means to them and to others. Aimed at young people aged 10 and upwards. Part of the groundbreaking and important 'And Other Big Questions' series, which offers balanced and considered views on the big issues we face in the world we live in today. Other titles in the series include: Who are Refugees and Migrants? What makes people leave their homes? What is Right and Wrong? Who decides? Where do values come from? What is Race? Who are racists? Why does skin colour matter? What is Mental Health? Where does it come from? What is Politics? Why should we care?

On the Move: Poems About Migration

On the Move: Poems About Migration

Author: Michael Rosen Illustrator: Quentin Blake Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/10/2020

Former Children's Laureates Michael Rosen and Sir Quentin Blake join forces for a personal and uniquely affecting collection of poems about migration. What you leave behind Won't leave your mind. But home is where you find it. Home is where you find it. Michael Rosen and Sir Quentin Blake join forces for a landmark new collection, focusing on migration and displacement. Michael's poems are divided into four: in the first series, he draws on his childhood as part of a first-generation Polish family living in London; in the second, on his perception of the War as a young boy; in the third, on his missing relatives and the Holocaust; and in the fourth, and final, on global experiences of migration. By turns charming, shocking and heart-breaking, this is an anthology with a story to tell and a powerful point to make: You can only do something now.

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