To this day, one of the most prominent memories I have of my childhood (that isn’t trying to feed snails to our cat) is of reading and re – reading Michael Rosen’s classic stories for children. That was nearly two decades ago, Rosen’s books are still a ‘must have’ item in a house with young children. But why? Is there someone behind every parent forcing them to indulge their children in the world of all things Rosen? Probably not.
The fact is simply that Rosen’s books, though written for children, are timeless in the minds of adults and youngsters alike. For younger readers, the stories unfold effortlessly before their eyes through the addictive rhymes that those of us in our late teens can probably still recite! We can’t go over it. We can’t go under it….
(If you just added in the last line of that sequence yourself, thank you for helping me to prove my point.)
On the other hand, adults find pleasure in reading Rosen’s stories because of the use of an incredible and genuine imagination that could only come from a children’s literary genius. This and the fact that, as my Mother put it, ‘reading kept you from screaming down the house for a few minutes’ show the books to be important to all members of a family. I suspect, however, the bit about appreciating literary genius to be more important than the fact that my Mum wanted to have a bubble bath in peace.
When it comes down to it, Michael Rosen’s books provide authentic moments of joy for any child reading them as well as bringing families together to enjoy the stories as one.
Rosen’s talks at this year’s Bath Festival of Children’s Literature promise to be a much better use of your time than putting plasters on to cover up scratches you got from your cat or indeed feeding him snails!
Izzy from the KLF Team