Jokes, a jack-in-the-box, jelly and jumping beans make children laugh.
As do practical jokes, peekaboo, pantomine and poetry that makes no sense.
Why and how does this work? And why does it matter?
Writer and Professor of Children’s Literature Michael Rosen, whose books – from We’re Going on a Bear Hunt to Chocolate Cake – have made millions of children rock with laughter, gives us the tools for this greatest of gifts.
‘Poetry can stick up for the weak’ according to Michael Rosen, or it can ‘mock the mighty’; it can ‘glorify our rulers or it can dissect them. You choose.’ In these powerful new poems Rosen is clear about his own choices. Listening to a Pogrom on the Radio is a book about anti-Semitism, racism, Fascism and war, Trump, le Pen, and the Tory assaults on the NHS and education the stupid and the sinister, the ridiculous and the revolting. In his first collection for grown-ups since Don t Mention the Children (2015), Michael Rosen confirms his reputation as the heir to Jacques Prevert, Ivor Cutler and Adrian Mitchell. Few poets writing today can move so effortlessly between childishness and childlike seriousness, or dare to ask, like the child in Hans Christian Andersen’s story, why the silly emperor is not wearing any clothes.
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.
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.”