Michael Rosen's Big Book of Bad Things by Michael Rosen

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Michael Rosen's Big Book of Bad Things by Michael Rosen

Category: Children's Rhymes and Verse
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Keith Dudhnath
Reviewed by Keith Dudhnath
Summary: Michael Rosen's poems of childhood are an absolute joy. Please read them. Please read them to others. Please let others read them to you. You'll love them.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 224 Date: August 2010
Publisher: Puffin
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0141324517

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When he was little, Michael Rosen's dad remembered all the bad things he'd done and reminded him of them when appropriate, so Michael imagined he'd written them all down in a Big Book of Bad Things. Here he presents the eponymous poem, as well as many many other tales of childhood, from the horrors of being a second late to school, to making a raft, to going to a café. Some bad, some sad, some quirky, some funny, some touching, some light-hearted, all wonderful.

So. My big girly crush on Michael Rosen continues unabated. I lurve him. I'm still revelling in and gushing with praise for what he and others did with the anthology A To Z - The Best Children's Poetry From Agard To Zephaniah. I'll launch into my own take of Bear Flies High at the drop of a hat, droppy drop, droppy drop, droppy droppetty drop. And I love his poems. I love his mind. I love his openness. I love his honesty. I love his ideas. I love the way they're presented and shared. He doesn't hide, and that shines through. There's a heart, there's a mind, there's thought, there's care, there's interest, there's excitement, there are ideas by the bucketload. It's Michael Rosen, and if you don't love him and his work as much as I do, well, then, you're just wrong. So there.

Like all poetry books, it's at its best when it's read aloud and shared (although it's still plenty enjoyable to plough through quietly by yourself). I want to read it all to you, but let me start with his friendship with the space on the page, the silliness of the alligator problem, the blistering sadness of those who are gone, and particularly the appointment with disappointment with the helium balloon. I won't share the bagel one with you, because I want to steal Zeyde's joke and use it often.

If you can't already guess, I love the poems. They're perfect for kids of any age, from the very littlest right through to teens. I'm an adult of sorts and I love 'em too. Read 'em on a car journey, read 'em round a table or a fire, or a table on fire, or just anywhere where people are gathered. They're great. I'm in two minds about the presentation, though (not that it really matters). Joe Berger's illustrations are sparsely dotted throughout, and just add a nice level of decoration to proceedings. We really don't like to judge books by their covers here at Bookbag, but a friend did suggest that the Big Book of Bad Things' cover let it down. They thought it should be a beautiful hardback book to treasure throughout the years, such is the quality of the poetry. I don't disagree, but also wonder whether the wacky high energy cover makes it that bit more accessible to people who might otherwise not give it a second look. It looks like it's a joke book, which is not ideal, but I can certainly live with it. Anyway, covers shouldn't matter.

Just buy it. You'll love it. Read it, share it. Highly recommended.

My thanks to the publishers for sending it to Bookbag.

The aforementioned A To Z - The Best Children's Poetry From Agard To Zephaniah sets the bar incredibly highly for poetry anthologies, and is another must-have. New and Collected Poems for Children by Carol Ann Duffy will be loved by children and adults alike. No poetry review is complete without a mention of the excellent A Kick In The Head: An Everyday Guide To Poetic Forms by Paul B Janeczko and Chris Raschka.

Buy Michael Rosen's Big Book of Bad Things by Michael Rosen at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Michael Rosen's Big Book of Bad Things by Michael Rosen at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Michael Rosen's Big Book of Bad Things by Michael Rosen at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Michael Rosen's Big Book of Bad Things by Michael Rosen at Amazon.com.


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