Paul Howard decided that his portraits would show the poets to be as young as possible without depicting them as children. The idea, he says, was to demonstrate "that you don't have to be a wrinkly old man to be a poet. It's a common image, but I wanted to make these poets an inspiration to young people, to show that you can be a poet at any age." Michael Rosen says, "The idea behind this book is to show that great poems have been written by real people who lived in their own time and in their own place -- and to offer new insights into poems, poets, and the relationships between them. It offers a springboard to children and adults wanting to find out more and explore the world of poetry."