Michael Rosen
Growing with Trees

Michael Rosen is well known for his writing and work with children. His poetry collections include Quick Let's Get Out of Here (Puffin); Why Poetry? (Team Video); Count to Five and Say I'm Alive (Team Video); Don't Put Mustard in the Custard (Collins Lion); Did I Hear You Write? (Scholastic); and Treasure Islands 2 (BBC Books).

BACKGROUND: Growing with Trees is the education and youth action phase of Trees of Time and Place - a national initiative which is encouraging people to gather seeds from a favourite tree, sow them and grow seedling trees to plant out in the new millenium. In January 1999 we decided to celebrate National Year of Literacy by encouraging primary age children to help produce an Anthology to be used during the Literacy Hour in primary schools. Children aged 4-11 were invited to submit poems and illustrations featuring their favourite tree. Michael Rosen launched the project and also led the final judging sessions.

Poems below are excerpted from Growing with Trees Anthology, supported by Whitbread PLC and published by The Richmond Publishing Co. Ltd. It can be ordered through any bookshop in the United Kingdom (ISBN 085546 142X)

Excerpt from a poem by Michael Rosen:

Hey Acorn!

Who d'you think you are?

A hard guy?

You look like a little hard-boiled egg

Sitting in a cup.

Well I'm telling you hard guy,

A squirrel is going to find you,

And if he doesn't eat you

he's going to bury you.



Hannah Trefgarne, Age 8
The Oak Tree

I am the King of all trees.

My branches are long

My trunk is thick,

I wave in the wind.


On a stormy night,

I creak and I groan,

The birds cling tight,

In the middle of the night,

Because I am King of the trees.


In the early morning

At first light,

a first bird sings

because it is the end of the night.


I open my leaves to the morning sun,

and light dances in between my branches

and squirrels play and run.



Catherine Willey, age 6

This is what I see

When I am climbing my tree,

Fluttering bees buzz, buzz.

Squirming, slivering, caterpillar.

Ants, working, talking.

Woodworms push

Bees and wasps fluttering about,

Birds fly away,

Because they are scared of me,

Twitter, twitter, twitter.



Craig Morris, Age 10
The Family Tree

Reaching to the heavens,

Touching clouds and sky,

Been here since the dawn of time,

Seen the years go by.


It's seen mighty Dinosaurs,

And the first blue moon,

It saw the very first Ice Age,

And it blossoms every June.


It's seen my mother and father,

And my sister and me,

It will see my children

For it is my family tree.





Young Poets Network