Share a Story 2017: Meet Michael Rosen!
Michael Rosen was born in 1946 in North London. One of the best-known figures in the children's book world, he is renowned for his work as a poet, performer, broadcaster and scriptwriter. As an author and by selecting other writers’ works for anthologies he has been involved with over 140 books. He lectures and teaches in universities on children’s literature, reading and writing.
Do you have a favourite childhood story and why?
The story that I often think about is 'Emil and the Detectives' by Erich Kästner. It's about a boy who has to go from the country to the big city taking some money to his aunt and grandmother. His mother is a single mother and it's a big responsibility. He's been naughty and is worried that he's going to get into trouble for it. Then the money he has in his pocket is stolen when he falls asleep on the train. The rest of the book is about tracking down the thief in the big city. He meets up with some boys and his cousin and...I don't want to say the rest!
I loved this book. It reminded me of travelling up to London from the suburbs where we lived. I loved travelling by train and I thought Emil was so brave. And then the scenes in the big city seemed so exciting. The city itself seemed so exciting too.
Where does your love of literacy come from?
It comes from my parents. They were both teachers and in their different ways they introduced me to stories, poems and a love of languages. They could speak, French, German, and Latin. So I was always hearing lots of words that weren't in English and when we went to France or Germany it was amazing to hear them speak French and German.
They also took me to plays and films and then they loved talking about them. So we would sit round the kitchen table talking about these things.
They both liked talking about the people in their family, and the friends and colleagues they had and they both loved telling stories. That was very important in my life too.
My dad was also very keen on singing. He sang loads of songs - folk songs from Britain and America. He knew songs in French and German and Yiddish and sang those too. I really loved these too.
I think all this contributed to my love of language, books, plays and films of all kinds.
A word from the man himself!
"This competition is a fantastic chance to come up with a story and see it turned into an animation. What a treat! Imagine your words, your ideas, your story, on TV as an animated film. Something very, very special."