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Michael Rosen's New Exhibition & Book Reviews from Local Author Victoria Delderfield

September 12, 2016


To celebrate Michael Rosen's 'Bear Hunt, Chocolate Cake & Bad Things' exhibition opening at Z-arts; local author Victoria Delderfield has reviewed some of his other fabulous stories with her two children. Here are the book reviews and details of this fantastic exhibition opening in manchester this weekend.


…And now for a book hunt!
If you’ve swishy-swashyed through We’re Going on a Bear Hunt until the pages are dog-eared, then you will enjoy stumble-tripping into more great reads by Michael Rosen for pre-schoolers (and beyond). His stories have a special, warm-hearted tone and his poetry connects brilliantly with imaginations, young and old. A big thank you to Urmston Bookshop for pointing me in the right direction, as always.


The Bear in the Cave

Described by The Guardian as, “a near-sequel to the bestselling, much-chanted We’re Going on a Bear Hunt”. It is the story of a bear who lives by the sea and decides to give city life a try. But the city is so noisy! So busy! And then the bear gets lost… Full of Rosen’s characteristically playful and rhythmic language, this is a fun story for grown-ups who enjoy trying different voices (my 3-year old loves the burly market seller who hollers, “Bananas, fish and shoes. Fish and shoes? Fish and shoes.”). It could easily be adapted to include movement and actions for a group. This is one adventurous and loveable bear.


The Bus is For Us!

A book about transport that’s not just for boys! This story is a celebration of everything that moves – from trains to clouds, horses, boats and, of course, the fun yellow bus at the heart of the story. The short rhyming phrases are beautifully illustrated (I like the kind of children’s books that give young minds a chance to engage with and respond to what they see). The book begins with everyday ways of getting about then ventures onto more imaginative possibilities: “Fly to the moon in a hot air balloon”. Why not! My 3-year old loves to pretend the passengers are his friends from nursery and finishes off the repeated rhyme, “the bus is for us”.  It makes a lovely bedtime story as the bus journeys home by moonlight.



Mustard Custard, Grumble Belly And Gravy

This book, illustrated by Quentin Blake, combines two poetry collections and comes with an audio CD, narrated by Michael Rosen. It is a great starting place to discover his quirky, often laugh-out-loud verse. My 6-year old boy howled at the slapstick humour of “Don’t” and “The Greatest”, and my 3-year old chuckled his way through the nonsense verse on a car journey. The collection perfectly captures the curiosity of childhood, and depicts some of the scrapes kids find themselves in. For a moment, we see the world – in all its strangeness - through the impish eyes of a child! Highly recommended.



If you have a pre-schooler and are expecting, or have just had a new baby – this could be the perfect book. It is narrated by a characterful dog who struggles to adapt to his human family’s latest – very noisy – addition, a baby he nicknames “Howler”. Full of wit and empathy, the story handles the subject with a light touch. The ending leaves a warm glow and shows there is always enough love to go round.

Books reviewed by Victoria Delderfield and road tested by her two sons. She lives in Urmston and is author of the prize-winning debut novel, The Secret Mother. For details, visit: www.victoriadelderfield.com


Michael Rosen's 'Bear Hunt, Chocolate Cake & Bad Things' exhibition at Z-arts 17th Sep-17th Dec



Z-arts, 335 Stretford Road,Hulme, Manchester, M15 5ZA




A Discover Children’s Story Centre Exhibition Ages 0-11


The experience focuses on some of Michael’s most popular books! Discover hidden rooms and brilliant clues that inspired Michael Rosen’s writing. A visit to the experience is led by one of our Story Builders who, in character, leads  the children on a Bear Hunt and facilitates play and story creation throughout the session. Younger children can enjoy a Bear Hunt trail, whilst older children can go on a fun fact finding mission on Michael Rosen and create poems of their own to take away. The experience offers a variety of activities for ages 0 – 11 to encourage imaginations, creativity and play.


“This exhibition is one of the most exciting things to have happened in my writing career… I am so looking forward to it.” – Michael Rosen


Please book you tickets on the website here:

Big Kids & Little Kids all £7

Bright Sparks Members £6

Family of 4 £25

Children Under 18 Months Free

Running Time: 50 Minutes



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