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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 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 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 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

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?

We're Going on a Bear Hunt

We're Going on a Bear Hunt

Author: Michael Rosen Format: Hardback Release Date: 11/11/2020

Alphabetical How Every Letter Tells a Story

Alphabetical How Every Letter Tells a Story

Author: Michael Rosen Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/11/2020

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 . . .

On the Move: Poems About Migration

On the Move: Poems About Migration

Author: Michael Rosen 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.

Michael Rosen's Book of Play Why play really matters, and 101 ways to get more of it in your life

Michael Rosen's Book of Play Why play really matters, and 101 ways to get more of it in your life

Author: Michael Rosen Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/10/2020

Today, we don't get nearly enough play in our lives. At school, kids are drilled on exams, while at home we're all glued to our phones and screens. Former children's laureate and bestselling author, Michael Rosen, is here to show us how to put this right - and why it matters so much for creativity, resilience and much more. Packed with silliness, activities and prompts for creative indoor and outdoor play for all ages - with specially illustrated pages for everything from doodling to word play and after-dinner games.

Macbeth United: A Football Tragedy

Macbeth United: A Football Tragedy

Author: Michael Rosen Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/09/2020

This season, get ready for a striking reimagining of William Shakespeare's classic tale, Macbeth. 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! A back-of-the-net retelling of Shakespeare's classic play from bestselling author Michael Rosen, and artistic-genius, Tony Ross.

Honey for You, Honey for Me A First Book of Nursery Rhymes

Honey for You, Honey for Me A First Book of Nursery Rhymes

Author: Michael Rosen Format: Hardback Release Date: 02/09/2020

From Children's Laureates Michael Rosen and Chris Riddell, the bestselling team behind A Great Big Cuddle, comes a first book of nursery rhymes. Flying pigs, wobbling plates of jelly and a giant who trembles whenever he meets a mouse: welcome to the topsy-turvy world of nursery rhymes. Inspired by his lifelong fascination with these peculiar poems, Michael Rosen has placed familiar playground songs alongside forgotten gems for a seminal new collection. Brought to vivid life by Chris Riddell's magnificent pictures, expect familiar faces, from little Jumping Joan to Miss Mary Mack - but also plenty of surprises... With forty rhymes to choose from, this book is sure to prove a bedtime favourite. Huggable and exuberant ... makes you want to smile and stomp to the rhythm. - The Sunday Times on A Great Big Cuddle

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