Michael Rosen's Sticky McStickstick: The Friend Who Helped Me Walk Again

By Michael Rosen

Illustrated by Tony Ross

A powerful and personal story from one of Britain's best-loved authors about his recovery from coronavirus.

After being admitted to hospital in 2020 with coronavirus, Michael Rosen had to learn to walk again. With the support of doctors and nurses and a walking stick he names "Sticky McStickstick", he manages to embark on the slow steps to recovery. This moving picture book from the former Children's Laureate, with illustrations from Tony Ross, tells a story of perseverance and hope, and is a testament to the importance of overcoming fear and learning to accept help.

Categories: Picture Books

For readers aged: 5+

  • Publication details:
  • Format: Hardback
  • ISBN: 9781529502404
  • Published: 04 Nov 2021
  • Price: £12.99
  • Size: 293 x 217 mm
  • Pages: 40

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Customer reviews


'Both powerful and personal, this offers reassurance on recovery from illness and building resilience.' The Bookseller

' [Michael Rosen] is open and honest about how the experiences feel, allowing children and families to have a space in which to talk about difficult topics.' BookTrust

' It manages to be funny as well as moving.' The Sunday Times & The Sunday Times Ireland

'Few writers and illustrators could make geriatric, post-Covid rehab a jolly subject for a children’s story; this being Rosen and Ross, miraculously, they more than manage it.' The Times

' This astonishing capacity to address pain with humour is what gave rise to his new book: Sticky McStickstick a picture book written with levity that nevertheless prompts a lump in the throat.' Books for Keeps

' a powerful picture book…Balanced perfectly between the fear and pain of serious illness….it will resonate with any reader who has struggled with ill health or seen a loved one struggling.' The Guardian

'This picture book is a kind of miracle. It exists because Michael Rosen survived six weeks in a Covid coma and it makes light of having had to learn to walk again. Born out of a joke name for his stick that made physios laugh, it follows the stages of rehabilitation and has a happy ending of family reunions. Tony Ross approximates Rosen’s face and makes silly things happen in the pictures. It will move adults and make children giggle. Broadened out with a coda about who looks after any of us whenever we’re ill, it turns trauma into hilarity and gratitude for the NHS.' The Times and The Sunday Times Book of the Year

' In this sensitive and funny book, he describes his dependent relationship with his walking stick. He gradually needs it less, but keeps it as a reminder of all the people who helped him.' The Daily Mail

' Michael Rosen’s own journey of recovery from Covid was movingly documented in Sticky McStickstick, illustrated by Tony Ross.' The Observer

'This moving picture book tells a story of the importance of hope and will resonate with anybody who has fought illness.' The Sun (Ireland & Scotland)

'Featured in Pen & Inc Autumn/Winter 2022 listings, highlighting the best in diversity and inclusion in children's books.' Pen &Inc

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