Walker Books is to publish Sticky McStickstick, a new personal memoir picture book from Michael Rosen, illustrated by Tony Ross, exploring Rosen's personal experience of illness and recovery from Covid-19.
The book depicts Rosen's time in hospital and his recovery. The synopsis explains: "After being admitted to hospital in 2020 with coronavirus, Rosen had to learn to walk again. With the support of doctors and nurses — and his trusty NHS walking stick, that he named 'Sticky — he manages to embark on the slow steps to recovery. Encouraged by an outpouring of affection, and support from social media, Michael’s recovery has been well documented on Twitter in particular: Sticky would appear in frequent tweets, hiding against a grey sofa, or reproaching Michael for not being used. It was here that Michael was encouraged to turn his tale of hope and resilience into a book."
Jane Winterbotham, publishing director at Walker Books, has acquired world rights in Sticky McStickstick and a second picture book, Neighbour’s Cat, from Charles Walker at United Agents. Sticky McStickstick is set for hardback publication on 4th November, while Neighbour’s Cat is to follow in 2022.
Rosen has sold 2.3 million books for £13.6m in total, with We're Going on a Bear Hunt his bestseller, on 1.3 million copies sold since 1998, through Nielsen BookScan's Tota Consumer Market. Commenting on the new book, Rosen said: “Dear old Sticky McStickStick sits in the corner by the door waiting patiently for me to call on him to help me with my walks. Sad to say, I don't need him anymore, and yet there was a time in the Rehab Hospital when he was the only way that I could dare to take a few steps across the ward, then later, down the corridor to the loo. I loved him. He gave me a mobility which only a few weeks earlier I could only dream of. And then he gave me the means to do without him! Such self-sacrifice! I loved writing about these things and thrilled that it's going to be a book with my great friend Tony Ross doing the artwork."
Winterbotham added: “Only a truly great writer like Michael could turn his terrible Covid experience into such an uplifting and touching picture book. All children have all been affected by this crisis in one way or another, and with his unfailing humour and honesty, Michael offers them a message of hope and resilience in this important book. We are delighted that Tony Ross is illustrating it, and are so proud to be publishing it.”
Rosen will shortly bring out a book for adults on his coronavirus ordeal, with Ebury.