Out now is Bah! Humbug! (Scholastic). This tells the story written by Charles Dickens called A Christmas Carol. It also tells another story: it’s of the Gruber family, in particular, Harry Gruber who is a boy in the school play version of A Christmas Carol. He’s desperate for his Dad (Ray) to come and see him in the play but Dad is always busy, busy, busy. While we read, hear and see Harry in the play, we follow Harry, Ray and the rest of the family. Tony Ross has done some fantastic pictures of both the play and the Gruber family.
My Latest Adventures
I’ve been in Cambridge a lot recently helping with their fantastic Historyworks project. This involves thousands of children across Cambridge in discovering history beneath their feet. Cambridge isn’t just the university (which has been there for over 800 years) but all sorts of amazing stuff like exploding fossil dinosaur poo, a Leper colony, Isaac Newton buying glass prisms in the market which as a boy he called ‘prisons’, and stone lions that get up in the might to drink water from the gutter! My job has been to help children write poems about it, while writing some of my own.
I’ve been going all over the country talking about memoir So They Call You Pisher! and I’ve even met people who I’ve written about in the book, some of whom I haven’t seen for 40 years or more. One person I met – and this was very moving – was the wife of my English teacher, who I’ve written about in the book. I also got a letter from a man who is 101 years old who I last saw in Germany when I was 11! He’s been writing poems and his autobiography too.
An exciting thing coming up is that the Polka Theatre for Children in London is going to put on a play based on my poems. I met up with the director, Peter Glanville, and song-writer, Barb Jungr to discuss what would be in the show. I really have no idea what it’s all going to sound like but I’m very excited by it. I’ll keep you posted.
Fun thing happened to me the other day. I went into a little Turkish cafe on the Holloway Road – called Crystal – to pass the time while something else was going on. Soon some families came in and one by one the children recognised me and were soon calling out ‘Noice!’ and ‘Don’t put mustard in the custard!’ and asking me for selfies. Everyone came from different backgrounds, speaking different languages. In the end, the whole cafe was asking me questions, getting selfies while I sat there eating my lamb and aubergine and rice! It felt so friendly and fun and it was everything I like about living in London. Then I thought if I had known 50 years ago that such a thing would happen to me, that I could sit in a little cafe and people would call out my poems at me and have such fun, I wouldn’t have believed them.
Welcome To My New Website
I hope you can find your way around it easily.
I know that some people who come to the website are looking for answers to questions about who I am, where I was born, where I grew up and that sort of thing. All that’s here! Others are looking for books I’ve written, or places where I’m doing my shows, or maybe just some news of what I’m doing. I hope you’ll find that sort of thing here very easily.
My latest book for children is Chocolate Cake. It’s been beautifully illustrated by Kevin Waldron. If you know my video of Chocolate Cake, then the book has all the words and noises I make on that video. It’s published by Puffin Books. When you read it, you can make all the noises yourself!
My YouTube Channel
Talking of ‘Chocolate Cake’, some people who know that video don’t realise that I have a video channel on YouTube where my son, Joe Rosen has put up over 200 of my poems, songs and stories. It’s called ‘Kids Poems and Stories with Michael Rosen’. If you subscribe to it, you’ll get a note telling you about new videos that Joe puts on there.
This Month (September 2017)
This month I’m visiting some schools where I perform my poems and do workshops to help children write poetry. You can see what I do in these workshops in my book ‘What is Poetry? The Essential Guide to Reading and Writing Poems’ (Walker Books)
I’m also recording radio programmes for BBC Radio 4. These are mostly ‘Word of Mouth’, the BBC programme about words and language. They go out on Tuesdays at 4.00 and Mondays at 11.00 pm. In one of the programmes, I interview Malorie Blackman, the author of ‘Noughts and Crosses’. After the programmes go out, they all go on to BBC iPlayer. Anyone reading this who does A-level English language would find these programmes very useful.
Gerard Manley Hopkins
On October 1 at 4.30 on BBC Radio 4, I’m doing a programme about the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins and how he invented a new way of writing. I visited the place where he did this and talk to the poet Michael Symmons Roberts. For anyone studying Hopkins’, I hope this programme will be interesting for everyone but for anyone studying Hopkins, I think it covers some useful stuff!
Michael Rosen’s Reading Revolution
Teachers, if you’re interested in helping make your school one that really focusses on reading for pleasure, then you could come to our conference on reading at Goldsmiths, University of London ‘Reading Revolution’On September 23.
I teach at Goldsmiths where I’m a Professor of Children’s Literature. We run an MA on children’s literature, for teachers, librarians, or anyone interested in looking more closely at children’s books, or writing them or illustrating them. We have three ‘pathways’ – critical, creative and illustration.
So They Call You Pisher!
This month I’ve got my autobiography coming out, published by Verso. Well, it’s not the whole life! It covers my first 23 years and there’s family history I uncovered too. I’m doing a tour talking about the book at festivals and arts venues. It’s called ‘So They Call You Pisher!’
The Working Artist
Emma-Louise Williams and I are curating an exhibition of paintings done by the East London Group. It’s on at the Nunnery, Bow Arts in Bow, East London, running from September 29 to December. A good deal of the East London Group’s work was focussed on the streets, buildings and parks of East London running from the late 1920s to the 1950s.
New Interactive VR Video
This is a VR film of Mo from A Great Big Cuddle. On a computer you can scroll around with your mouse. On a phone you can move around using the handset to look around, or you can watch it on a VR headset and have look around.
Video directed by Joe Rosen.
9 New Videos For April & May
My son Joe has filmed a further 9 videos of me reading poems from several different books. Here are the last three. I hope you enjoy them.
New Shakespeare Videos
Here are 3 new videos of performances based on my book What’s So Special About Shakespeare?, published by Walker Books. All films directed by Joe Rosen.
New Videos of My Poems
My son Joe has filmed 12 more videos of me reading poems from several different books. Here are the final three. I hope you enjoy them.
All the videos were directed by Joe Rosen.
Share A Story 2016
This year I’m really excited to be working with CITV as the Ambassador for their BAFTA winning Share a Story competition which gives children the opportunity to embrace their inner storyteller. Each year Share a Story asks children to enter their stories into our competition with the winning tales brought to life and put on CITV. I’ll be running a scripting workshop with our four lucky winners to help develop their stories.
This competition is a fantastic chance to come up with a story and see it turned into an animation. What a treat! Imagine your words, your ideas, your story, on TV as an animated film. Something very, very special.
Share a Story is now open to children aged 5-12 until 29th April 2016. To find out more or to enter the competition head over to the CITV website.
A Great Big Cuddle
Here are two more videos of me performing poems from my book, ‘A Great Big Cuddle’, with pictures by Chris Riddell, published by Walker Books.
All the videos were directed by Joe Rosen. Go behind the scenes and see how they were made.
Uncle Gobb and the Dread Shed
I’ve written a book called ‘Uncle Gobb and the Dread Shed’ and it’s illustrated by Neal Layton. If you like funny books, this could be a book you’ll really enjoy. You can find out more at: www.bloomsbury.com/
I’ve also made some videos telling you all about it:
Quite a few people recently have asked me where they can find the words of ‘Chocolate Cake’. As you probably know there is a video of me performing ‘Chocolate Cake’ right here, along with 91 other poems filmed by my son Joe plus some other videos of me in performance from BBC Learning in Scotland and the like.
The words of ‘Chocolate Cake’ are in my book of poems: ‘Quick Let’s Get Out of Here’. It’s in print and published by Puffin Books.
In Print List
As a reminder, my books of my own poems in print are:
(for younger readers)
Mustard,Custard, Grumble Belly and Gravy (Bloomsbury)
Something’s Drastic (HarperCollins Education)
Even My Ears are Smiling (Bloomsbury)
Bananas in my Ears (Walker)
Michael Rosen’s Book of Nonsense (Hodder)
Even More Nonsense (Hodder)
No Breathing in Class (Puffin)
(for older readers)
Quick Let’s Get Out of Here (Puffin)
You Wait Till I’m Older Than You (Puffin)
Centrally Heated Knickers (Puffin) (these are poems that have link to ideas of science)
Michael Rosen’s Big Book of Bad Things
WARNING: YouTube is a ‘free-for-all’ site. Quite a few people have fun taking my videos and making new versions of them, known as ‘poops’ or ‘YTPs’ Many of these are not suitable for young children. I am not responsible for either the words or pictures of these. If you want to be sure that you’re looking at videos that I made, please only go through this site. Or, if you look closely on YouTube you’ll see the tag ‘artificedesign’ . Click on that and you’ll see a ‘room’ of all 92 videos that I filmed specially for this site.
The Hypnotiser (out of print) – nearly all the poems from this book are here as videos on this site.
Michael Rosen Live – a video of me in performance in a theatre available from email@example.com
There are several audio versions of my work:
Mustard, Custard, Grumble Belly and Gravy (Bloomsbury) includes a CD of the book
Even My Ears are Smiling (Bloomsbury) includes a CD of the book.
A firm called Abbey Media put out audio versions (performed by me) of:
Quick Let’s Get Out of Here
Hairy Tales and Nursery Crimes
Sonsense Nongs (me singing silly songs accompanied by Peter Gosling who once played ‘Captain Keyboards’ on TV – great fun for car journeys!)
I am reading quite a few poems at the Poetry Archive.
New Series of Free Videos
I have just released a new series of videos titled ‘Poems And Stories About My Family’. The poems are all taken from my books and this series of performances was produced by my son Joe. You can watch them now here!
Warning For Parents and Teachers
Please please please play or download my videos from this site only. These are the only videos officially sanctioned by me as being suitable for children. If you go to YouTube to download or play videos, I can take no responsibility for the material you or the children in your care watch. Please be warned: just because my face and/or voice is on a YouTube page, it does not follow that it has anything to do with me.
YouTube is an ‘open’ site, which means that the videos belong to anyone and everyone. Anyone can take them and do what they want with them.
Please take note of this.
Here are some reviews of ‘Tiny Little Fly’:
TINY LITTLE FLY. Text copyright © 2010 Michael Rosen. Illustrations copyright © 2010 Kevin Waldron. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA on behalf of Walker Books, London.
This is an interesting blog on children’s writing, education and poetry by Anthony Wilson.
Here’s me taking part in a Guardian podcast with discussion about books.
You can watch a video of me performing with the Homemade Orchestra here.
I was asked to choose a Champion of the Week for the Guardian – David Crystal – and then several debates broke out.
This is an article I wrote about global English for the BBC News Magazine.
Government withdraws all funding from free books for children programme, and my response – once in the article and once more in the thread below!
Here’s my article on it.
This is an article I wrote about libraries for ‘The Sun’ newspaper
This is an article I wrote for ‘Socialist Review’.
Here is the longlist for the Warwick Prize for writing, which I am co-judging .
I’ve helped do some additions to the London Grid for Learning present Perform a Poem. I have chosen a top ten performance films. Please show the children you know and teach.
Here is an interview with me in the USA’s Publishers’ Weekly.
Here is a write-up of this year’s Roald Dahl Funny Prize in Guardian.
Here’s my recommended read for the New Statesman.
Here’s a teaching suggestion from the British Council with my poem ‘Orange Juice’ from ‘Quick Let’s Get Out of Here’.
Here’s a review of my book of ‘Poems for the Very Young’.
Where Will I Be?
Some people have been asking me recently, when am I next doing a public performance in London?
I’ll be on at Bookmarks Bookshop
1 Bloomsbury Street, London WC1B 3QE – Tel: 020 7637 1848
Sunday December 18
Latest News and Reports of What I’ve Been Up To
A great evening happened in Dalston.
Interview with me in Reading University’s magazine.
Here’s me interviewing the wonderful French novelist and champion of books, reading and books in schools, Daniel Pennac.
Here’s me trying to save libraries.
Manchester Literature Festival write-up of me performing.
Here’s the critic Brian Alderson writing about my very first poetry book for children: ‘Mind Your Own Business’
Come to this wonderful poetry video site. I’ve recorded several poems here that I’ve never recorded anywhere else:
Lovely write-up of the Bath Children’s Literature Festival with a walk-on part for me!
The wonderful children’s books magazine, Books for Keeps has done a feature on me and my new book: ‘Michael Rosen’s Big Book of Bad Things’.
Here’s a Guardian newspaper blog thread about spelling, grammar and punctuation that I contributed to.
A scandal about Shelley I wrote up for the Guardian at Comment is Free.
I’m a powerpoint presentation!
Interview with artist Kevin Waldron re our new book: ‘Tiny Little Fly’ .
This is me arguing with Simon Heffer about ‘Correct English’ on BBC Radio 3’s ‘Nightwaves’
Here’s a write-up of me working with sixth formers at BSix college in Hackney.
‘Big Book of Bad Things’ Reviews
I’ve had some nice online reviews for ‘Michael Rosen’s Big Book of Bad Things’.
I have two publications that you may be interested in:
1. A DVD ‘Michael Rosen Live’ of me performing a selection of poems from ‘Michael Rosen’s Book of Bad Things’ and some of the older books. It’s a performance in front of a live audience, lasting about an hour and is available from
Jan and Kate Powling on firstname.lastname@example.org
2. I have republished ‘Hairy Tales and Nursery Crimes’ along with selected stories and poems from ‘Arabian Frights and other Gories’. If you’re interested in buying a copy write to me at email@example.com.
If you’re a school that has booked me to come and see you, don’t forget to order some from Jan and Kate on firstname.lastname@example.org
Here’s a Guardian podcast of me talking about ‘the books that made me’.
Here’s what I wrote on a Guardian blog about children’s humour.
Here’s a podcast of me and a band called The Dulce Tones, performing a poem I wrote about urban regeneration schemes – called ‘Regeneration Blues’.
Two new books on the way:
A new book of poems called:
‘Michael Rosen’s Big Book of Bad Things’ (Puffin) due out later this year
…and a new picture book called:
‘Tiny Little Fly’ illustrated by Kevin Waldron (Walker)
July News Roundup
Here is my latest news from March to June 2010:
The Roald Dahl Funny Prize winding up again for 2010.
This is an article I wrote for the New Statesman magazine about the revamped Jewish Museum in Camden, London.
Here’s a short Guardian article about family holidays.
…and here on a visit to a school in Bromley.
Short interview at Teach Well Teach Often.
I was asked to give a quick speech to open the restored and updated West House in the Memorial Park in Pinner. I used to walk past this house on the way to school every morning and it was where my mother used to do Scottish Dancing lessons, It’s not re-opening as a gallery space and archive for the artist and cartoonist, William Heath Robinson. Here’s how the local newspapers wrote up the day; Harrow Observer and Harrow Times.
Fred and Anne Jarvis Award
I was awarded the Fred and Anne Jarvis Award by the National Union of Teachers for ‘campaigning for education’. My parents were longstanding members of the NUT, my mother campaigned for equal pay for women, and my father for comprehensive education so it was a proud moment for me to receive this.
Here’s a great new site called Authors Hotline. This is my page.
Articles and Podcasts
Here’s an article I wrote for the Independent some time ago about going back to my old secondary school, Watford Grammar School.
To browse an index of older news stories, visit the News Archive.