ACHUKA Book of the Day 5 Nov 2021
A powerful and personal story from one of Britain’s best-loved authors about his recovery from coronavirus.
After being admitted to hospital in 2020 with coronavirus, Michael Rosen had to learn to walk again. With the support of doctors and nurses and a walking stick he names “Sticky McStickstick”, he manages to embark on the slow steps to recovery. This moving picture book from the former Children’s Laureate, with illustrations from Tony Ross, tells a story of perseverance and hope, and is a testament to the importance of overcoming fear and learning to accept help.
Speaking to The Bookseller shortly after being contracted to write the book, Michael said, “Dear old Sticky McStickStick sits in the corner by the door waiting patiently for me to call on him to help me with my walks. Sad to say, I don’t need him anymore, and yet there was a time in the Rehab Hospital when he was the only way that I could dare to take a few steps across the ward, then later, down the corridor to the loo. I loved him. He gave me a mobility which only a few weeks earlier I could only dream of. And then he gave me the means to do without him! Such self-sacrifice! I loved writing about these things and thrilled that it’s going to be a book with my great friend Tony Ross doing the artwork.”
From a feature in The Guardian: “On another occasion, [Michael] was re-learning how to get up from a bench and was told to put his hands behind himself and his nose over his toes. “Like a child, for the next few weeks, I just kept repeating to myself: hands behind, nose over toes, hands behind, nose over toes.” He adds, with horror: “I should have put that in the book, shouldn’t I?” A few hours later, he emails to say that ‘nose over toes’ has been added, last minute, to the story: “We’ve squeezed it in. It’s in!”