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Michael Rosen wrote his first poems when he was twelve, and he has been writing ever since. He loves words, and especially loves talking to children and adults about how we can play with them. He may have got that from his father, who loved to sing songs in different languages and recite bits of poetry or plays especially Shakespeare. Michael's parents and his brother all loved jokes, stories and songs, and many of his poems are about his family life as a young boy.
When you see Michael perform it comes as no surprise to learn that he wanted to be an actor for a while. In fact, his first published work was a play called Backbone. But you may be a bit surprised to find out that Michael also wanted to be a doctor and that he studied medicine for a year at university, before realising that it was words and writing that he really wanted to study.
Michael's first book for children was Mind Your Own Business, a collection of poetry that was illustrated by Quentin Blake. Since then, he has published many more poetry collections, picture books and anthologies, and has become one of our best-known and best-loved authors. In 2007, Michael became the fifth Children's Laureate (2007-2009), a post created to promote children's books, writers and illustrators across the country. Michael is a passionate advocate of children's reading and regularly appears on television and radio shows to talk about books. And as if that weren't enough, he also teaches Children's Literature in universities and enjoys going into schools to meet and talk to children about his work.
In 2016 Bloomsbury published two new titles from Michael, Jelly Boots, Smelly Boots illustrated by David Tazzyman and Uncle Gobb and the Green Heads. Smokestack Books has also published an adult collection of Michael’s poems Don’t Mention the Children. Michael’s latest book for adults is The Disappearance of Émile Zola published in 2017 by Faber and Faber.
The Disappearance of Émile Zola (Faber and Faber)
Don’t Mention the Children (Smokestack Books)
Jelly Boots, Smelly Boots illustrated by David Tazzyman (Bloomsbury)
Uncle Gobb and The Green Heads (Bloomsbury)
A Great Big Cuddle, poems for the very young illustrated by Chris Riddell (Walker Books)
The Bus is for Us illustrated by Gill Tyler, (Walker Books)
Mad in the Back illustrated by Richard Watson (Barrington Stoke Ltd.)
Uncle Gobb and the Dread Shed illustrated by Neal Layton (Bloomsbury)
Quick Let’s Get Out Of Here (revised paperback) illustrated by Quentin Blake (Puffin)
What is Humanism? withAnnemarie Young (Wayland)
Monster illustrated by Neal Layton (Bloomsbury)
You Tell Me (with Roger McGough) illustrated by Korky Paul (Janetta Otter-Barry)
Don't Forget Tiggs! illustrated by Tony Ross (Andersen)
You Wait Till I’m Older than You (Puffin Books)
Centrally Heated Knickers (Puffin Books)
Michael Rosen’s Big Book of Bad Things (Puffin Books)
Michael Rosen’s A-Z: The Best Children’s Poetry from Agard to Zephaniah (Puffin Books)
Mustard, Custard, Grumble Belly and Gravy, illustrated by Quentin Blake (Bloomsbury)
Bear Flies High, illustrated by Adrian Reynolds (Bloomsbury)
Tiny Little Fly, illustrated by Kevin Waldron (Walker Books)
Red Ted and the Lost Things, illustrated by Joel Stewart (Walker Books)
I’m Number One, illustrated by Bob Graham (Walker Books)
Michael Rosen’s Sad Book, illustrated by Quentin Blake (Walker Books)
Even My Ears Are Smiling (Bloomsbury)
Blue, illustrated by Michael Foreman (Walker Books)
Fantastic Mr. Dahl, illustrated by Quentin Blake (Puffin)
Happy Harry’s Café, illustrated by Richard Holland (Walker Books)
I Never Know How Poems Start, illustrated by Yullya Somina(Harper Collins)
Aesop’s Fables illustrated by Talleen Hacikyan (Tradewind)
Fluff the Farting Fish illustrated by Tony Ross (Andersen)
Choosing Crumble illustrated by Tony Ross (Andersen)