Michael Rosen to encourage reading and rhyming with babies and toddlers as BookTrust’s latest Writer in Residence

Published on: 22 February 2022

One of the nation’s favourite children’s authors, Michael Rosen, will next week become BookTrust's new Writer in Residence, using the residency to promote the importance of reading and rhyming with children in their early years.

Michael Rosen is one of Britain’s best loved writers and performance poets for children and adults. His first degree in English Literature and Language was from Wadham College, Oxford and he went on to study for an MA at the University of Reading and a PhD at the former University of North London, now London Metropolitan. He is currently Professor of Children’s Literature at Goldsmiths, University of London where he co-devised and teaches critical approaches to reading on an MA in Children’s Literature, having done the same at Birkbeck, University of London. He has taught on MA courses in universities since 1994. He was the Children’s Laureate from 2007-2009 and has published over 200 books for children and adults, including the recent bestseller Many Different Kinds of Love and On The Move.

Michael is a long-standing champion for children’s reading and for many years he took his one-man show to schools across the country to enthuse children with his passion for books and poetry. Over the years, he has been involved in countless public campaigns to promote reading. In 2007, in the role of Waterstones Children’s Laureate, he developed the Perform-a-Poem website in association with the London Grid for Learning.

On Tuesday 1 March, Michael Rosen will become BookTrust's next Writer in Residence – a project that has been running since 2009 – to highlight the benefits and fun of reading with babies and toddlers.

Learn more about our Writers in Residence

'Lifelong benefits of reading'

Sharing stories is invaluable for children in their early years and creates a lifelong positive impact on their health, wellbeing, creativity and education. With a new strategy, which has a strong focus on supporting the most disadvantaged children to build a reading habit, the BookTrust residency provides a platform for writers and illustrators to explore issues that they are passionate about and use their creativity to inspire children and families to read together. 

Michael Rosen said:

'I am really looking forward to being resident at BookTrust. We know that helping children start life playing with words, poems and songs is the perfect way to become a confident speaker and writer. Under-fives soak up language and we can help make that happen by sharing books with them. I want to do all I can to offer some ideas and inspiration to help carers, teachers and anyone who works with under-fives.'

Diana Gerald, CEO of BookTrust, said: 'We’re delighted to welcome Michael as our latest Writer in Residence. His books have inspired a generation of young readers and are loved by children and adults alike. Michael is a household name and is respected throughout schools and libraries across the world, using his platform to bring his own love of stories and language to so many people.

'Sharing books, stories and rhymes from the earliest months not only helps families to bond and spend quality time together, but it also supports the development of social skills and contributes to better language and literacy skills later in life. We’re very much looking forward to working with Michael to help more children, and their families, reap the lifelong benefits that reading brings.'

More about the BookTrust Writer in Residency

Download the full press release for this news story (.docx, 50.9KB) 

Writer in Residence

Our current Writer-Illustrator in Residence is Michael Rosen, who is writing blogs, running competitions and giving us their unique perspective on the world of children's books.

Find out what they're up to