Prolific and popular author, Michael Rosen, became seriously ill with Covid early in the pandemic and has written of his experiences. Join Maureen as she talks about his two recent publications – one for adults and one for children - that provide a recount of his illness, recovery, resilience and support from others in overcoming his illness.
Two of my recent reads have been the books which tell the story of Michael Rosen’s hospitalisation, early in the pandemic, with Covid, and then his long on-going road to recovery. The first was Many Different Kinds of Love: A Story of Life, Death and the NHS. This powerful and moving account in prose poems written by Rosen during and after his recovery, combined with the diary kept by his nurses while caring for him and enhanced by Chris Riddell illustrations. The second was the picture book for children which focusses on Rosen’s gruelling recovery period as he learned to walk again after weeks in an induced coma : Michael Rosen’s Sticky McStickstick: The Friend who Helped me Walk Again illustrated by Tony Ross.
Both books have many elements of humour, emotion, gratitude for the dedicated NHS staff (but as relevant for hospital staff all over the world), while also questioning the UK government’s response to the pandemic. They’re well worth a read.
Michael Rosen - Many Different Kinds of Love: A Story of Life, Death & The NHS
Sticky McStickstick by Michael Rosen, illustrated by Tony Ross | Book trailer
Michael Rosen has long been one of my favourite authors, with his quirky humour and insight. My journey with the recent books prompted me to explore his webpage -- https://www.michaelrosen.co.uk/ What a wonderful range of material to delve into. There’s lots to encourage kids to write poetry and stories. Why don’t you investigate the 21 pages of video links with Rosen telling stories. I got distracted so many times!!
His Books page -- https://www.michaelrosen.co.uk/books/ -- lists his published titles, many of which I had forgotten about, or hadn’t heard of. I’m off to put ‘holds’ at my library on some of them. Which do you most remember? Which is your favourite? Rosen’s complete bibliography will help jog your memory. My earliest is Mind Your Own Business, published in 1974, but met at many stages in the years in between. There are lots from the 1980s when he seems to have had a burst of publications.
Michael Rosen was the UK Children’s Laureate 2007-2009.
Do yourself a favour and have a look. You’ll be amazed at what you might find – for your young readers, for your older readers, or just for yourself. And don’t forget his Covid journey ones.
Retired teacher librarian and avid reader
Editor's note: for those not familiar with Rosen's work, a great place to start and share with your kids is his video channel: