Review Blog

Nov 14 2011

Even my ears are smiling by Michael Rosen

cover image

Ill. by Babette Cole. Bloomsbury, 2011 ISBN 9781 4088 0297 7.
(Ages: 4+) Recommended. Poetry. A lovely hard cover book full of poetry, and illustrated by Babette Cole will find a place in libraries for readers wanting to read these out loud or play along, or sing or read together or simply listen to the accompanying CD read by Michael Rosen.
All good fun, with simple lines and rhyme, the poems are short and funny, redolent of everyday life for young children. So catching a bus, or jumping on dad, or having a bath, or looking at photos of relatives are all grist for the mill for Rosen's talent at making an easily digested poem for young children which will have them smiling when they recognise familiar situations and themes.
I loved The Pancake Maker with its rhymes with the words pancake and maker running through the two pages. Listening to Rosen's reading adds to the fun of it as he gives spaces and breath stops that are not obvious on the written page. Or the lovely, I've had this Shirt, with its reminders of things that are loved and kept for years and years and years. Some poems spread over several pages, where some are just a few lines, but most being a handy page long, enough to read and talk about and read again in class. And I can imagine kids at home or in the classroom or library wanting the CD played over and over again, so be prepared.
Adding to the fun is a small 4 lined poem at the bottom of the page every now and again beginning with the lines, Down behind the dustbin . . . These give a lovely model for children writing their own poems, using the form given by Rosen.
Fran Knight

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