Rosa Rose

Rosa Rose

Robert Priest, Joan Krygsman
  • $10.00

June 2013
56 pages | ISBN 978-1-894987-73-8

*Silver Medal for the Moonbeam Children's Book Awards*
*Honorable mention in the Lion and the Unicorn Award for Excellence in North American Poetry*

From Terry Fox to Gandhi, Rosa Parks to Elijah Harper, Robert Priest has collected some of his most inspiring poems together in this book for young people. Priest, an award-winning poet and musician, has written these thought-provoking poems to introduce children to men and women across the planet that have changed the world. Illustrated with bold line drawings by Joan Krygsman, Rosa Rose is a captivating book sure to delight all readers. 


Rosa Rose (CBC Books, 05/12/2014)

Rosa Rose was picked as The Next Chapter 2014 Holiday Children’s Book Panel selection.

Children's Book Panel – Summer 2014 (Michele Landsberg and Ken Setterington, CBCBooks, 09/06/2014)
“Strong, lively and immediately engaging poems about progressive heroes, from Deepa Mehta to Elijah Harper to Muhammad Ali.”

10 Literary Locals (Jessica Rose, Dear Edna, 12/12/2013)
"Who says history isn’t fun? Rosa Parks and Other Poems by Robert Priest is a collection of poems that make history fun, celebrating heroes such as Rosa Parks, Elijah Harper, Terry Fox, and Deepa Metha."


Shelf Life (Jessica Rose, Hamilton Magazine, 03/10/2013)
"Dundas artist Joan Krygsman is no stranger to bright colours – her canvasses boast vibrant shades of yellow, red and blue. Her colourful portraits of Terry Fox, Rosa Parks, Louis Armstrong and Deepa Metha, which grace the cover of Rosa Rose and Other Poems by Robert Priest, are no exception. In Rosa Rose, poet Priest celebrates people who have influenced his life, from heroes at home like Elijah Harper to the anonymous man in Tiananmen Square. The collection, which is ideal for children, also introduces readers to figures they may not be familiar with like Wangari Maathai and Julia Butterfly Hill.”

Rosa Rose and Other Poems (Inderjit Deogun, Canadian Materials Magazine, 20/09/2013)
“Rosa Rose and Other Poems is a beautiful poetry collection that needs to be on every child's bookshelf and is sure to make young readers lovers of history and poetry."

McGiffin evokes nature; Priest inspires kids (George Elliott Clarke, The Chronicle Herald, 06/08/2013)
"Priest is a poet-troubadour in the 1960s mode of Bob Dylan: To illuminate injustice and to celebrate struggle against it.
"This premise lies behind his latest children’s-oriented book of verse, Rosa Rose, wherein Priest presents a gallery of heroes, those who suffered to achieve real liberation for the poor and oppressed, or simply to make life better for others."


Robert Priest still pursuing the poet's life, will perform at Calgary Spoken Word Festival (Eric Volmer, Calgary Herald, 31/03/14)
“Priest’s output has tended to be both varied and prolific over the years, encompassing novels, plays, books of poetry and music. His work for adults, such as the satirical Reading the Bible Backwards and this year’s anthology Previously Feared Darkness, are offered alongside books for young readers such as his most recent, Rosa Rose.”



Rosa sat, she sat on the bus,
She sat with a weary smile.
The driver said she must get up
For a white man stood in the aisle

But she refused, she refused,
She stayed in the seat she chose.
She sat until the sheriff came
And only then she rose.

Rosa rose, Rosa rose,
She'd sooner be arrested
Then obey an unjust law
That law would now be tested.

Rosa rose, and the people rose
She went to court and she won.
Rosa rose and the people rose
And they'd only just begun.

Videos and Music

"The Peace of Many Pieces"

"Ali Wouldn't Fight"

About the Author

As a performer of his own poetry and songs, Robert Priest has been delighting children and their parents for twenty-five years. Robert has also written and performed segments for Sesame Street, and Eric's World. His novel, Knights of the Endless Day, received a special choice award from the Children's Book Centre. Robert lives in Toronto where he is writing his second children’s novel, The Paper Sword.

About the Illustrator

Joan Krygsman is an artist, illustrator, writer and musician from Dundas, Ontario. Trained at the Ontario College of Art and Design, she works in ink, collage, acrylic paint and pixels. Visit her website,

Other Titles by this Author

The Wolf is Back (2017)

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