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Despite spending nearly seven weeks in intensive care and having to learn to walk again after contracting Covid-19, Michael Rosen has written a new book in the weeks since he left hospital, describing his return to creativity as akin to being wrapped in “a very friendly blanket”.

The former children’s laureate, who spent 47 days in intensive care before going home in June, said he took just “a couple of days” to pen Rigatoni the Pasta Cat, the latest in his comic fiction series illustrated by Tony Ross.

“I was thinking about it while I was in hospital, and afterwards in rehab, and then I thought, ‘Why go on thinking about it? Just write it,’” said Rosen.

The 74-year-old author of classics including the poem Chocolate Cake and the picture book We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, spent time in an induced coma at the Whittington hospital in London, before having to learn to walk again. On Tuesday, he said he has now lost the sight in his left eye and hearing in his left ear, and is now also starting to lose his hair.

“The thing about Covid is it leaves a sort of trail of mishaps around your body, mostly at the edges, or in the middle with the lungs. In my case, it’s all sorts of things, aches and pains and bits and pieces,” said Rosen.

The author said it had been “especially” good to return to writing “imaginative silly stuff” like Rigatoni. “In all those books, my aim is to make myself laugh, and then to make Tony laugh,” he said.

“When I’m writing, I feel very contented in myself. So even when it’s difficult and a bit of a struggle, it feels like a good place to be,” he added.

Rigatoni the Pasta Cat will be published by Andersen in spring 2022, joining popular titles in the series including Fluff the Farting Fish, Bilal’s Brilliant Bee and Hampstead the Hamster.

Source: The Guardian