Chocolate Cake | POEM | Kids’ Poems and Stories With Michael Rosen

Michael Rosen STICKERS and STUFF –

Check out Michael’s website
for news, updates, and fun, as well as great homeschooling UK storytime resources and ideas like these.

The Michael Rosen Reading for Pleasure book –

Micheal Rosen Chocolate Cake | POEM | Kids’ Poems and Stories With Michael Rosen
Why not share this clip – learn about technology
Discuss performance poetry – what does it make you think?
Look at other Michael Rosen poems – which ones do you like, why?
How does Michael’s work compare and contrast with another poet?
Teachers or Homeschoolers – work with your kids to create your own performance piece for selected poems.
Pupils could create their own story poems about favourite foods, strict teachers or a Bear Hunt.
Use this as a inspiration to start independent research on Michael Rosen.

Tell us how and why you originally wrote Chocolate Cake!
‘I didn’t write it, I performed it! It’s an example of a performance poem that developed through my shows. Between the poems there are gaps, kids ask me questions, and I respond. Then I might ad lib some stuff and I might develop it. In the early 1980s, ‘Chocolate Cake’ developed as a performance piece that I wrote down and published as a poem in my book Quick, Let’s Get Out of Here. I noticed that very young children loved the poem, so I suggested doing a picture book and Penguin, wonderfully, said yes and married me up with Kevin Waldron who I’ve worked with before on Tiny Little Fly.The rest is history!’

Is Chocolate Cake an autobiographical tale?
‘Yes. My parents taught me a lot – I’d listen to them telling stories about things that had happened and I’d think, “That isn’t exactly how it happened, is it?” I’d keep quiet about it, and watch. The audience would laugh and my dad would add another little bit the next time, and another little bit the time after, and only then did the story get fixed.

‘Once we were on holiday and my older brother got the train home alone, but he forgot the key to the house. My dad decided we would drive across the Yorkshire Moors and meet him en route at the station. So there was this chase and we caught up and managed to give him the key through the window. But at some point in the telling of the story it developed the line, “Stop the train!”

‘Because my dad is very much not a “Stop the train” kind of person this became a comic thing in our family. I knew he hadn’t said “stop the train”, but I thought, “Ooh, yessss!” So if bit by bit you embellish, add bits, put in some noises, and tweak the tension, everyone loves it. When people say, “Is [Chocolate Cake] true?” Kind of… maybe I didn’t eat all the chocolate cake.’

Who is Michael Rosen?
My first book for children was called Mind Your Own Business and it came out in 1974. Quentin Blake did wonderful line drawings for it.

Ever since then, I’ve been doing these things:

Writing books

Writing articles for newspapers and magazines

Going to schools, libraries and theatres and performing the poems in my books

Helping children write poems and stories

Making radio programmes, mostly about words, language or books

Appearing on TV, either reading books, or talking about books

Teaching at universities about children’s literature

Running workshops for teachers about poetry

#Michael Rosen

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