You Wait Till I’m Older Than You

Publisher: Puffin

This is a book of poems about people: friends and family, and the funny and sometimes sad times that we have with them. Drawing on his own life, Rosen gives us a variety of thoughtful short poems, from My Friend Roger, in which he describes a friend whose parents disapprove of Michael, and poems like The Shop Downstairs and Don’t Tell Your Mother, in which we find Michael’s father depicted in small moments that show his character.

The book contains longer poems too: In Eddie and the Car, Rosen tells the story of getting the family car stuck in a hedge in France, and having to ask a French farmer to help him; in The Line, he tells the story of a line separating the boys from the girls in the school playground, and what happens as a result; in Australia, he tells the story of being on holiday with his own children and encountering some terrifyingly big insects. There are also a number of poems featuring a boy called Harrybo, who, we learn, died when he was just 17.

Many of the poems in this book are very affecting, and there’s much here about Michael’s Jewish heritage and identity as well as his own childhood, and being a dad himself – parents will definitely identify with the poem Eddie and the Supermarket, in which Michael recalls taking his young son to the shops and the chaos of Eddie in the trolley. It’s a really lovely collection, perfect for schools and to read at home, too.

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