Former Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen talks about daydreaming and rude rhymes

Hackney-resident and former Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen came face to face with puppets from the Shakespeare-inspired play he wrote, after a performance last Friday.

The beloved author, whose books include Going On A Bear Hunt, answered questions from the audience about The Magician’s Daughter.

“Every story begets another story,” he told them.

“So when the director said to write a follow up to The Tempest I thought ah, The Tempest three to five year olds - what a perfect challenge.”

One youngster told Rosen she had once read one of his books, while another complained the thunder in the production had scared him because it was too loud.

“We’re going to have to get them to stop that, I already said ease up on the thunder,” he joked, to howls of laughter from the audience.

He told the audience how he came to be an author: “I was quite a daydreamy sort of child and when teachers started talking to me I started to fall asleep, and so they used to say concentrate - and I thought, “I am, I’m concentrating on my daydreaming.”

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“Teachers used to say, “What’s the opposite of hot?” and I would wonder does everything have an opposite, does a washing machine have an opposite?

“I was greatly helped by my mum and dad who knew lots of rhymes and stories and would walk around singing them - some of them very rude actually.”

For more information about The Magician’s Daughter which is showing at Islington’s Little Angel puppet theatre in Dagmar Passage until July 10, see