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Rosen is chosen

by: Ben Simons - Last updated: 2007-06-11

Michael Rosen

Michael Rosen

Outspoken critic of Israel and prolific children's novelist and poet Michael Rosen has been appointed the fifth children's laureate.

Rosen, who has written over 140 books succeeds Jacqueline Wilson and will hold the title for two years.

"I hope that I'll be able to boost all children's reading for pleasure but also to give a special lift to the wonderful diverse world of poetry for children," he says. "I see my job as Children’s Laureate being an ambassador for fun with books."

Rosen, who refuses to perform in Israel, and says he has never had a barmitzvah, has also publically denounced Jews' right to return to the country.

"I am proud to say whenever I have been asked to go to Israel to read or perform over the last 20 or 30 years, I've always refused - I will never go to Israel until there is a free Palestine," he said at a public demonstration. "I say this, Israel is not my homeland, along with other Jews around the world I renounce my so-called right of return. I don't want to return to somewhere where I have never belonged."