AD: Sponsored Post Have you ever thought about how much is going on in a toddler’s mind as they not only learn the sounds of language but ...

Ready for Spaghetti by Michael Rosen & Polly Dunbar

Tuesday, June 14, 2022 BookBairn 2 Comments

 AD: Sponsored Post

Have you ever thought about how much is going on in a toddler’s mind as they not only learn the sounds of language but also that when put together those sounds make words and those words have meaning? And at the same time their brains are learning how lots of things work? 

As Michael Rosen points out in the introduction to his latest poetry collection Ready for Spaghetti, it’s utterly mind-boggling!

So he’s put play and creativity at the heart of this collaboration with artist Polly Dunbar, creating conversations between the poems and the illustrations. And yet there’s also room for imagination, spontaneity and playfulness when you read this aloud.

The way Rosen plays with sounds and language makes the poems fun and silly to read aloud, enduring giggles and encouraging children to repeat the refrains as well as adding their own lines to the poem! There’s a sort of nonsense element to the poems too where they don’t always make sense in a literal sense but yet that only adds to the toddler appeal as, let’s be honest, toddler life doesn’t always make much sense to us grown ups either!

From brushing teeth, to sandcastle building, balloon letting go, paddling pool, playing with diggers, right through to spaghetti for tea, bubbles in the bath and jimmy jam time - the poems cover the course of a whole day of fabulous activities helping children to make sense, and nonsense, of the world around them.

Personally I love the poems about the red balloon which floats away - this feels like a quintessential childhood moment that we all have experienced.

And I will always love a poem about a bumblebee so this one is super sweet and I can hear myself reciting it when we spot bumblebees in the garden.

I also love this version of the alphabet! And let's face it it's nice to have an alternative to the ABC song!

Polly Dunbar's illustrations are also packed full of the affectionate observations of the lives of young children. Warm-hearted and full of humour, kids will see themselves in the characters in this picture book!

To me this feels like the sort of book that you end up quoting throughout the day, where the phrases become part of your family vocabulary - that secret language that only makes sense to your family! And what could be more magic than that?

Happy reading and rhyming and rollicking and reciting your way through this one!

Kim and the bairns x

Thanks to Walker Books for this hilarious “party of a book”!

Disclaimer: If you click on the image of the book below you will be sent to using an affiliate link.  This means that if you choose to purchase on, I will receive a small sum (around 20-90p per book) from Amazon at no extra cost to you. I understand that you may not want to use an affiliate link, but if you like reading our blog post please just think of it as a small tip for a tip-off to an awesome book. And know that your support means I can buy more books! For more information check out our For Readers Section.


  1. For you it was a kite that drifted away. Elie Beach circa 1995 and it was GmaBookbairn that let it go!