ON THE MOVE: POEMS ABOUT MIGRATION by Michael Rosen, Illustrated by Quentin Blake

Former Children’s Laureates Michael Rosen and Sir Quentin Blake join forces for a personal and uniquely affecting collection of poems about migration.

“What you leave behind
Won’t leave your mind.
But home is where you find it.
Home is where you find it.”

Michael Rosen and Sir Quentin Blake join forces for a landmark new collection, focusing on migration and displacement. Michael’s poems are divided into four: in the first series, he draws on his childhood as part of a first-generation Polish family living in London; in the second, on his perception of the War as a young boy; in the third, on his “missing” relatives and the Holocaust; and in the fourth, and final, on global experiences of migration. By turns charming, shocking and heart-breaking, this is an anthology with a story to tell and a powerful point to make: “You can only do something now.”


Title : On the Move: Poems about Migration
Author : Michael Rosen
Illustrator : Quentin Blake
Format : eARC
Page Count : 144
Genre : Children’s Poetry
Publisher : Walkers Books
Release Date : October 1, 2020

Reviewer : Micky
Rating  : ★ ★ ★ ★.5



Micky’s 4.5 star review

This is a stunning book of poetry with illustrations that hit at the heart. It also has a compelling story to be read as the whole, steeped in history, migration, war and prejudice. It is aimed at 9-12 year olds but like all the best Pixar and Disney animations, it has a level that speaks to the adult and I’m emotional just writing this review; it touched me deeply.

You can’t speak of it.
It is the unspeakable.
You can’t say it.
It is the unsayable.
You can’t say what you know.
It is the unknowable.

Rosen navigates his family’s story, from his own eyes and stories he’d heard. The themes are sometimes potentially distressing but they have much to say about the past and today.

This isn’t one of Rosen/Blake’s upbeat books but it is still wonderful like his Sad Book and it will open up these experiences to many readers, young and older.

Thank you to Walker Books for the early review copy.

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