Tag Archives: chocolate

Book Review: Chocolate Cake by Michael Rosen, illustrated by Kevin Waldron

A children’s picture book about a boy who can’t resist a sticky gooey chocolate cake! I thought I’d love this new Michael Rosen book. Usually a big fan of anything from this author, I confess I was a little disappointed.

michael rosen chocolate cake2

The story is about a little boy (a little Michael Rosen really) sneaking downstairs in the middle of the night, when everyone else is fast asleep, to look at a big chocolate cake his mum has made… and then, of course, he’s unable to resist having a few crumbs… and then a bit more… until the whole cake is gone!!

It’s a picture book version of Rosen’s original poem, Chocolate Cake, from his collection ‘Poems and Stories About My Family’, but unfortunately it’s been re-written. The story itself is ok and I like the illustrations but the fill-in parts on the page, speech bubbles etc., just don’t seem to fit with the rest of the book. It comes across to me as disjointed and doesn’t really fit with the overall feel of the book. I might have preferred it better if it had been re-written with some partial rhyme to help it along, or if it had been reproduced in its original format but with the new illustrations for picture book format.

However, the idea of a boy sneaking downstairs in the night to look at this big chocolate cake (with a cute dog at his feet)… and then to be unable to resist eating it bit by bit… well, it’s fun and is bound to get kids giggling, even if it hasn’t completely hit the mark with me. I think it’ll be a ‘fun for 5 minutes’ sort of a picture book rather than a classic keeper.

I really love Michael Rosen’s YouTube performance of his original poem ‘Chocolate Cake’, together with other poems from his book ‘Poems and Stories About My Family’ which has, to date, had over 4 million, yes million, views. Perhaps I would like this picture book better if he did a reading of it and made it as good as his reading of the poem!


About the Author
Michael Rosen is a children’s author and poet and has written a lot of books. Really, a lot. Too many to list here. Michael Rosen was Children’s Laureate from 2007 to 2009 and you can find out more about him on his website http://www.michaelrosen.co.uk.

Where to Buy
You can buy Chocolate Cake from your local independent bookshop (the best option!), or you can buy online from hive.co.uk and still support your local independent bookshop by nominating them to receive a percentage of your sale on Hive. Shop local, where possible, to help keep your High Streets alive. Chocolate Cake is published by Puffin (August 2017) and is available as a new hardback, RRP £12.99 ISBN 9780141374093. At Books & Ink Bookshop most of our new books are for sale at a discounted price. If we don’t have it in stock we would be happy to order it in for you. We also have a large second-hand stock.