Michael Rosen was born in Harrow, Middlesex (UK) in 1946. Both his mother and father were teachers, primary and secondary respectively. From a young age Michael wrote, acted and directed plays. His career began with radio plays and documentaries for the BBC but he soon moved over to children’s television.
His first book was published in 1974 with illustrations by Quentin Blake. He is most famous for his poetry which are at their best, as all poetry is, when performed. There are links throughout this post to videos of his performances.
These days Michael spends time performing his poetry and/or running workshops about poetry for both children and teachers, at schools, literary festivals, and music festivals. This year he will be at Glastonbury and Latitude. He still writes books, articles, radio programmes, and also lectures about children’s literature at universities.
My daughter only discovered Michael Rosen a few months ago through school and completely adores his poetry. She spends hours watching videos on youtube and our favourite saying has become…..”Noooooo breathing!…… Gasp.” It’s the one time I don’t mind her having unlimited computer time!
List of Works
Fiction & Picture Books
Hairy Tales and Nursery Crimes You’re Thinking About Doughnuts
We’re going on a Bear Hunt Little Rabbit Foo Foo
Clever Cakes Burping Bertha
This is Our House Snore
Mission Ziffoid Rover
Lovely Old Roly Oww
Howler Sad Book
Totally Wonderful Miss Plumberry Mustard, Custard, Grumble Belly & Gravy
You’re Thinking About Tomatoes
Mind Your Own Business Wouldn’t You Like to Know
You Tell Me You Can’t Catch Me
Quick Lets Get Out of Here Don’t Put Mustard In the Custard
The Hypnotiser Zoo At Night
You Wait Till I’m Older Than You The Michael Rosen Book of Nonsense
Lunch Boxes Don’t Fly Centrally Heated Knickers
Even More Nonsense Uncle Billy Being Silly
No Breathing In Class Alphabet Poem
Tea in the Sugar Bowl, Potato in My Shoe
Other Children’s Books include:
Fluff the Farting Fish Choosing Crumble
Aesops Fables Hard Boiled Legs
Michael Rosen has also written various Anthologies for children and Teenagers, non-fiction books for secondary students, Non- Fiction for adults, and Poetry for Adults.
Fluff the Farting Fish is story about a girl who wants a dog but whose mum brings back a fish. She decides to train the fish instead and discovers that it has a musical talent for farting. Its an extremely funny story that captures the imagination with its simple base humour in the bodily function of farting.
We’re going on a Bear Hunt is a picture book for younger readers but it is still fun for older children. A video of Michael Rosen performing it is available here. It’s a very simple poem about an adventurous boy who decides to go on a bear hunt because ‘He’s not Scared‘ and traverses many difficulties in terrane and weather to find a bear, but will his courage hold out?
Chocolate Cake is a poem found in his book Quick, Let’s Get Out of Here. A Collection of poems illustrated by Quentin Blake. Chocolate cake is one of my daughter’s favourite poems by Michael Rosen. She identifies with pleasure the of eating chocolate cake, the sneaking, and ‘the nice warm feeling of chocolate cake in my belly.‘