#802 – A Great Big Cuddle by Michael Rosen & Chris Riddell

a greaat big uddle
A Great Big Cuddle: Poems for the Very Young
Written by Michael Rosen
Illustrated by Chris Riddell
Candlewick Press    9/22/2015
74 pages     Ages 3—7

“Mo’s in a muddle
She slipped in a puddle
Mommy gives Mo
A great big cuddle.”

“Michael Rosen’s joyful new collection of poems bounces right off the page and into your heart, making this the perfect read-aloud for both boisterous celebration and cozy cuddling up. With energy and laughter, these exuberant poems, paired with Chris Riddell’s vibrant illustrations, will delight little ones, inviting them on a playful romp of rhythm and rhyme they’ll want to revisit time and time again.” [inside jacket]

Have you ever seen a blue bulldog spouting about what he does not want? How about a party where the festive animals countdown from ten to one, as each guest arrives? Oh, how about a naughty car that has gone too far? If you have not, you are missing a wonderful time. Animals abound in this collection of poetry suitable for young children. The pages flow from the internal music of each poem.

A Great Big Cuddle is perfect for any time and any mood. There are bouncing poems for afternoon fun and soothing poems for slowing down. Poems take a round trip in the toddler’s imagination, love of catchy tunes (the sing-song quality of the poetry), and repetition. “Are You Listening” is full of proper manners from a child to his dragon and “The Naughty Car” expresses a child’s anger at his toy car (both repeating words often heard from adults).


Each poem is short, easy to read, and fun to look at. The watercolor and pencil illustrations perfectly complement each poem, bringing words to life for young eyes to enjoy. A Great Big Cuddle is a little Dr. Seuss, a little Shel Silverstein, and little J. Patrick Lewis. These poems are fun. Young children will be able to memorize several and recite to their hearts content. All are perfect for parents, even if they have a short amount of time. A Great Big Cuddle needn’t be read in one sitting, though it is certainly possible.

This poetry collection will entertain, sooth, calm, delight, empower, and cause uproarious laughter. A Great Big Cuddle reminds me of poetry collections from my childhood. I love the opportunities for parents to adopt character voices. Rosen, a former Children’s Poet Laureate (UK), uses wordplay and onomatopoeia to delight kids and adults.

“Boing! Boing!

Boing! Boing!
Bounce bounce.

I’m a Ball
Bounce bounce.

Jump jump
Pounce pounce.

I’m a tiger
Pounce pounce

Any parent or grandparent (aunt, uncle, godparent, sibling, friend, and anyone I’ve missed) with find A Great Big Cuddle perfect for sitting in a rocker and reading to young children. The poems are highly imaginative, with illustrations that pop off the page or blend in with the text. Kids will adore the cuddly animals and the goofy creatures. A Great Big Cuddle is the ideal package for current children’s poetry. The thirty-five poems in A Great Big Cuddle are happy and nonsensical; sweet and endearing.

A GREAT BIG CUDDLE: POEMS FOR THE VERY YOUNG. Text copyright © 2015 by Michael Rosen. Illustrations copyright © 2015 by Chris Riddell. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.

Purchase A Great Big Cuddle at AmazonBook DepositoryIndieBound BooksCandlewick Press.

Find A Great Big Cuddle on Goodreads HERE.
Find an Activity Sheet HERE.

Meet the author, Michael Rosen, at his/her website:  http://www.michaelrosen.co.uk/
Twitter           @MichaelRosenYes
Meet the illustrator, Chris Riddell, at his/her website: http://www.chrisriddell.co.uk/
Twitter           @chrisriddell50
Find more books at the Candlewick Press website:  http://www.candlewick.com/
Twitter           @Candlewick

New York Public Library: 100 Books for Reading and Sharing
2015 Parents’ Choice Award

Also by Michael Rosen
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt (art by Helen Oxenbury)
Alphabetical: How Every Letter Tells a Story
The Tale of Rescue (art by Stan Fellows)
.          .  —and many more

Also by Chris Riddell
The Sleeper and the Spindle (author: Neil Gaiman)
The Edge Chronicles 12: Doombringer: Second Book of Cade (author: Paul Stewart)
Castle Diary (author: Richard Platt)
.          .  —and many more

Copyright © 2016 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved

A GREAT BIG CUDDLE: POEMS FOR THE VERY YOUNG by Michael Rosen. Illustrations copyright © 2015 by Chris Riddell. Used by permission of Candlewick Press.

Full Disclosure: A Great Big Cuddle: Poems for the Very Young by Michael Rosen & Chris Riddell, and received from Candlewick Press, is in exchange NOT for a positive review, but for an HONEST review. The opinions expressed are my own and no one else’s. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


16 thoughts on “#802 – A Great Big Cuddle by Michael Rosen & Chris Riddell

    • Rich, correct? I have not reviewed On My Way to the Lilikoi Tree, but have contacted the author about a review and am waiting for a reply. It was after this that I found out who the illustrator is for this book. If you are Rich, you can ask for a review yourself, it doesn’t require the publisher or author. The illustrator, translator, editor, etc. of the book can also request a review.
      Or, in your case, a reader may ask for a certain book.

      I’ll let you know when I receive a reply if a review will follow.

      I did look at what I could on Amazon and the illustrations are adorable (saw half a spread).


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