Today is National Poetry Day and I thought there is no better way to celebrate on Childtastic than by reviewing Michael Rosen’s hilarious poem ‘Chocolate Cake’, which was recently turned into a colourful and exciting picture book, with illustrations by Kevin Waldron.
Most of us love a piece of chocolate cake but Michael takes it to extremes when he wakes up one night thinking of the glorious baking creation his mother has left in the kitchen. He is usually allowed to take a piece to school for lunch or break but he can’t wait that long. He wants cake. Now.
Michael creeps downstairs, trying to avoid the creaky floorboard, and once inside the kitchen finds the object of his desire – a towering beauty of a chocolate cake. In a way that is disturbingly similar to my way of thinking, he reasons that it’s OK to swipe up a few crumbs on his fingertip, then tidy an uneven slice here and there… until the tidying means the cake has completely disappeared into his belly. What’s he going to do?!
The children roared with laughter when I read this book to them. They loved the suspense of creeping down to the kitchen at night (most said it was their favourite part of the story) and they totally understood why it was imperative to eat the cake in the middle of the night, although a few faint-hearted souls hid their faces behind their books as Michael ate his way into trouble (some even muttering ‘nonononono!’). The little exclamations peppered throughout the pages had them guffawing and as soon as I had finished it, they demanded I read it another time. Instead, I played a great recording of Michael Rosen performing the poem himself, which you can watch here.
Chocolate Cake is now a firm favourite in the library and is always requested as a read. Parents who visit us after school on a Wednesday are roped into reading it and enjoy it just as much. The only problem is… well, I want a piece. Now!
Please note that I was sent a copy of Chocolate Cake to review by Puffin Books.