Just like a big warm hug – A Great Big Cuddle – Michael Rosen and Chris Riddell


To celebrate National Poetry day on Thursday October 8th I decided this blog was well overdue to look at some fabulous Poetry books. This first one ‘A Great Big Cuddle’ by Michael Rosen with illustrations by Chris Riddell comes highly recommended by my 6 (7 in 24 days Mummy!!) year old daughter.

I’m assuming it’s called ‘A Great Big Cuddle’ because when you read it you feel like you are been embraced in a big warm hug. It’s titled ‘Poems For the Very Young’ but I have to wholeheartedly disagree as I’m far from being young and I absolutely adored it in every way. Chris Riddell has managed to match the genius of Michael Rosen’s poems with some totally endearing illustrations which perfectly enhance this entertaining book.

Some of the poems are very simple and full of action such as ‘Boing! Boing!’ where the teeny tiger practically bounces off the page.

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Then there are more complex poems which contain repetitive verses which children always enjoy even if they can’t read themselves.  They get caught up in the words and remember it quite easily. Michael Rosen famously does this with ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ which I’ve had really young children recite back to me, when reading it at Storytime.

In ‘Oh Dear’ the little boy goes to the shop and everytime he gets given the wrong thing, a snake instead of a cake, a goose instead of some juice which caused much hilarity when me and my daughter were sharing this.



And every time we hear:

Oh dear!

Look what I got

Do I want that?

No I do Not!

My favourite poem in the book is ‘I Am Hungry’ probably as it represents my state of being most of the time. I recently used it in a Poetry Slamdown against my Chatterbooks children but unfortunately came last. However I feel this was due more to the tactical voting of my group to ensure the grown up didn’t win, rather than the actual poem which is brilliantly funny.


You can see Michael Rosen read ‘I Am Hungry’ by following the link below and it is guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

This book is a total treasure and I can’t recommend it enough. It’s perfect for sharing with your child and also for letting them read on their own as their confidence grows. If you’re looking for a book which will encourage your child to love poetry then this one will certainly do that!

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