This for me is the greatest collection of children’s poems. My well-thumbed copy was always an essential part of my teaching equipment when I was teaching in Primary schools and it saved me many times during my career. How much I loved the enthusiasm that the children always had for these poems, especially the sequence of Eddie poems, which is what makes this collection stand out from the rest of Rosen’s work. In recent years these poems have added poignancy as Rosen’s son Eddie died from meningitis as a young man. This group of poems dotted throughout the book provides a memorial more vivid than baby photographs. “Eddie in Bed,” “Eddie & The Wallpaper”, “Eddie & The Nappy”, and “Eddie & The Birthday,” in particular are brilliant snapshots of life with a toddler. Poems that recall episodes in the poet’s past are full of the vitality of children’s language, something Rosen does so well, together with the tinge of guilt of recalling past ‘naughty moments’, which speaks directly to children hearing or reading these. “Washing Up”, “Chocolate Cake”, “The Watch”, “Go Kart” and “Gymnastics” take all adults back to their own childhoods and are superb examples of accessible poetry. I’d also like to single out a quieter poem, that when teaching I tended to overlook. “Platforms” is a sweet, mellow tale about waiting for a loved one and its inherent sense of anticipation, boredom and relief. In just a few lines Michael Rosen is able to encapsulate so much. You get a real blast of personal nostalgia just reading this. When teaching I was lucky enough to book Michael Rosen to come and talk to the pupils on a couple of occasions (at different schools) and children love this man. This book explains why.
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