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Michael Morpurgo has written over 90 books and has an unparalleled reputation in the world of children's books. His books have been adapted for the cinema, TV and theatre and he has won numerous awards including Children's Book Award, Whitbred Children's Book Award and the Smarties Prize.
Michael Morpurgo is, in his own words, "oldish, married with three children, and a grandfather six times over." After schools in London, Sussex and Canterbury (one of which was horrible enough to inspire him to describe it obliquely in The Butterfly Lion), he went on to London University to study English and French, followed by a job in a primary school in Kent. It was there that he discovered what he wanted to do. "We had to read the children a story every day and my lot were bored by the book I was reading. I decided I had to do something and told them the kind of story I used to tell my kids - it was like a soap opera, and they focussed on it. I could see there was magic in it for them, and realised there was magic in it for me."
Living in Devon, listening to Mozart, and working with children have provided most of the stimulae Michael needs to discover and write his stories. He spends about half his life mucking out sheds with the children, feeding sheep or milking cows; the other half he spends dreaming up and writing stories.
Michael Morpurgo, former Children's Laureate and author of bestsellers such as War Horse and Why The Whales Came, is the inaugural President of the Historical Writers Association beginning in Autumn 2011. The Historical Writers' Association (www.thehwa.co.uk) will celebrate its first anniversary in October. It was founded to bring social and professional support to writers of historical fiction and non-fiction, publishers, agents and booksellers, all bound both by their common interest in historical books and by the sense of community that comes from a shared obsession.
STOP PRESS: The Harrogate History Festival
Author of War Horse and over 130 books, and much-loved by readers of all ages, Michael Morpurgo will be at the Old Swan Hotel in Harrogate on Friday 23 October. Prepare to be inspired! Click here to find out more.
This sparkling adventure melds life as a young refugee with literary lore. The warm magic of Omar’s Lilliputian sojourn will captivate young readers, while his experience as a refugee will surely inspire compassion and empathy - deeply vital for our times. Known as Tiny in his rural village, Omar’s life is overturned when war breaks out and an air strike kills his dad and many friends. When his sister goes missing, Omar and his mum move to a refugee camp. But it’s not long before Mum decides it would be safer to join a group of sea-bound refugees. They walk for a year and reach the coast, but Omar’s mum only has enough money to pay for one passage. So, armed only with the address of his Uncle Said in England, Omar boards the overcrowded boat. When it sinks, he wakes to find himself on an island populated by tiny people. The warm welcome of the Lilliputians serves as a powerful allegory. They “spoke with their hearts” and make Omar feel like he belongs as he learns their language, their history, their culture. But worried his mum might be waiting for him in England, Omar sets off again, with hope in his heart and special companions aboard his new boat. Shot-through with a powerful message about offering help and hope to those in need, this is classic Morpurgo, with wonderfully warm illustrations by Michael Foreman. Read more about Michael Morpurgo, our LoveReading4Kids Guest Editor for September 2020, here.
Michael's parents buy a yacht, and take him off to sail round the world. Washed overboard in a fierce storm, Michael finds himself on the shore of a remote island - and soon discovers he's not alone. Kensuke, a former Japanese soldier, survived the war and the bombing of Hiroshima, but his family perished. As an extraordinary bond forms between the two, Kensuke faces a heart-breaking choice: can he give up the secluded life he's built for himself to help reunite Michael with his parents? Knowing the pain of losing his own family, Kensuke knows which way he has to decide... Reading this book will take you through every emotion you can think of, from great joy and laughter to utter sadness and loss. At its heart is a story of friendship that will live long in your mind long after and whilst reading it you will be utterly captivated.
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 1 March 2012. Best-selling War Horse, a magnificent First World War story of human and animal courage on the battle field in the face of deadly danger will shortly be a film following its sell-out adaptation as a play. This film tie-in edition has the benefit of stunning stills from the film including on its striking cover which makes it especially appealing. Anthony Horowitz on Michael Morpurgo: 'Michael Morpurgo is the most solid, classical of children's authors. He sits outside the series-driven blockbusters so beloved of publishers nowadays: he hasn't created a Harry Potter or an Alex Rider – and I admire him for resisting that. We are opposite sides of the same coin and, although his work has never influenced mine, I admire the eloquent, considered voice of his best books. He has an unerring moral compass – his schoolteacher past has never quite left him – and books such as War Horse and The Butterfly Lion have a strong social concience and an honesty that makes them universal.' (The Guardian)
Winner of the Independent Booksellers' Prize 2010. Prize-winning author Michael Morpurgo’s new novel is a towering adventure and emotional roller coaster set at the time of a great tsunami. Trying to get over his father’s death, Will and his mother travel to Indonesia for a trip of a life time. For his Christmas present, Will is given a ride on an elephant. Elephants are his favourite animals and when Will sets off on Oona’s back he feels like a king. But then Oona begins to act strangely and soon she and Will are fighting for their lives as the great tsunami comes crashing in.
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 19 November 2009. Set around the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, this is a hugely topical novel from a master storyteller, which at its heart makes a plea for peace and unity. The story is told through the writing form of a diary around a journalist called Max who travels to the West Bank to witness how life is for Palestinians and Jews living in the shadow of a dividing wall. Max strikes up a friendship with an enigmatic Palestinian boy, Said. Together the two sit under an ancient olive tree while Said makes another of his kites. As Max is welcomed as a guest, he learns of the terrible events in his family’s past and begins to understand why Said no longer speaks. Told from both Max’s and Said’s point of view, Morpurgo has created a beautiful tale of tragedy and hope with an ending that rings with joy. And a comment from the author: ‘It’s a story of hope above all. I’m very cautious that it doesn’t take sides. It’s about suffering on both sides’.
Stunning and unputdownable. For me, this is the best book I’ve read in a long, long while and I did so in a single sitting. Although, Michael Morpurgo is one of the UK’s best known children’s authors he has that cross-over appeal to the adult market and if you have yet to be introduced to his writing then Private Peaceful is the one to do it with. Morpurgo’s skill at getting you caught up in the world in which he writes is truly outstanding. No one does it better. It’s a story that will make your heart ache as much for the sadness as for the joy. I could go on about it but I won’t. What I can guarantee is that whatever your age you will find it blindingly brilliant and you will reflect on it for some time afterwards too.
Travel the globe in this beautiful, inspiring journey through the animal kingdom, which encourages children to value the natural world and their place within it. From two of today's most celebrated children's book creators. From a blackbird in a Devon garden to leopards in the African savanna, hibernating bears and chimpanzees high in the forest canopy, this stunning picture book reminds us all of our connection with nature, and with each other, and the urgent need for us to join together in caring for the world and every creature in it. Former Children's Laureate and CILIP Carnegie Medal winner Sir Michael Morpurgo's beautiful story is both moving and full of hope; the illustrations from twice CILIP Kate Greenaway-winning Emily Gravett are breathtaking. This gorgeous book is a classic in the making and the perfect gift for any animal and nature lover.
The classic story of finding fun on the farm from the Nation's favourite storyteller, gorgeously re-illustrated by Sam Usher. From Sir Michael Morpurgo comes a classic story of one small boy, and one very lucky duck... Sam is a city boy through and through - and isn't looking forward to his school trip to Nethercott Farm at all. But busy days of farm work, animals and learning all about nature weave their magic - and when Sam finds a duck about to be dinner, he is determined to save him. But how? This warm and magical story is gloriously brought to life by the incredible illustrative talent of Sam Usher, and is set on the real-life Nethercott Farm - a member of Farms for City Children - the charity that offers urban children from all over the country the chance to live and work together on a real farm and experience the magic of the English countryside.
Join the fun on the farm! A brand new Mudpuddle Farm book from award-winning author Michael Morpurgo, hilariously illustrated throughout by Shoo Rayner, and perfect for readers of 5 and up. Two charming stories for younger readers, featuring a loveable family of all sorts of animals, living behind the tumble-down barn on Mudpuddle Farm - where everything is about to change... in the most unexpected and hilarious ways! Nowt to Worry About: There's a storm in the air, and all the animals are worried. But old Farmer Rafferty doesn't realise anything is wrong. Can the animals warn him in time? Tickety-Boo: A funny new creature has arrived at Mudpuddle Farm - and the animals soon make friends. Problem is, the latest addition to the farm doesn't belong actually there! It looks like it's time to say a sad goodbye - although Albertine the Goose might just have a clever idea...
The perfect gift for all ages, Pinocchio as you've never seen him before: telling his own story through the master storyteller and award-winning author of WAR HORSE. Now - there's no point in pretending here - I was, and still am deep down, a puppet. Everyone knows Pinocchio is a puppet. I reckon I must be just about the most famous puppet the world has ever known. But the truth is I'm not just a puppet, I'm more than just bits of wood and string. I'm me. So I thought it was about time that I, Pinocchio, told you my story... So begins this stunningly beautiful interpretation of the classic story. Michael Morpurgo channels Pinocchio's words to tell the famous puppet's story in his own inimitable, cheeky and always funny way. Lavishly illustrated throughout in black-and-white by the acclaimed Emma Chichester Clark, this is a must-have for all book lovers, and an utterly charming and surprising adaptation of a much-loved tale.
The stunning novel set during World War One from Michael Morpurgo, the nation's favourite storyteller and multi-million copy bestseller. May, 1915. Alfie and his fisherman father find a girl on an uninhabited island in the Scillies - injured, thirsty, lost... and with absolutely no memory of who she is, or how she came to be there. She can say only one word: Lucy. Where has she come from? Is she a mermaid, the victim of a German U-boat, or even - as some islanders suggest - a German spy...? Only one thing is for sure: she loves music and moonlight, and it is when she listens to the gramophone that the glimmers of the girl she once was begin to appear. WW1 is raging, suspicion and fear are growing, and Alfie and Lucy are ever more under threat. But as we begin to see the story of Merry, a girl boarding a great ship for a perilous journey across the ocean, another melody enters the great symphony - and the music begins to resolve... A beautiful tour de force of family, love, war and forgiveness, this is a major new novel from the author of PRIVATE PEACEFUL - in which what was once lost may sometimes be found, washed up again on the shore...
After a fierce storm, a boy discovers a human skull, buried beneath the roots of an ancient tree. A skull with a legendary story... Vivid re-imagining of the legendary hero Robin Hood by bestselling author of War Horse. Tell the sheriff, tell Sir Guy of Gisbourne, tell everyone in Nottingham, that the Outlaws rule here in Sherwood, that we rule in the king's name... I am Robin Hood. Homeless and lost in a dark, strange forest, young Robin is rescued by a motley crew of misfits. He yearns to avenge his father and seek justice against cruel oppressors, to finally defeat the Sheriff of Nottingham, once and for all. And through his friends, Robin Hood finds the courage to become a legendary hero.
It was Benjamin Postlethwaite's job all his long life to make sure the light shone brightly high up in the lighthouse on Puffin Island. Not once in all his years as the lighthouse keeper had he ever let his light go out. But sometimes even the brightest light on a lighthouse cannot save a ship. This is a story of a life-changing friendship, a lost puffin, and a lonely artist. It's the story of an entire lifetime, and how one event can change a life forever. From masterful storyteller, Michael Morpurgo, and world-class illustrator, Benji Davies, comes a magical new story. This truly beautiful tale will enchant readers of all ages.
This bestselling Christmas picture book by renowned children's author Michael Morpurgo and illustrator Jim Field, is now available in paperback for the first time. Michael Morpurgo frames his powerful message about protecting the environment in this beautiful personal story about a grandpa's wish for his granddaughter to live in a better world. This vital and timely story is paired with Jim Field's emotive illustrations in this gorgeous Christmas picture book, perfect for the whole family to share. Dearest little Mia, This Christmas, instead of a Christmas card - you'll have plenty of those - and instead of a present - you'll have plenty of those too, I am sending you a letter ... Every Christmas Mia and her family read a letter which her Grandpa wrote to her. His letter is a warm, impassioned and heartfelt wish for a better world for Mia to live in. He remembers fondly the times they spent in his garden finding frogs and worms and planting seeds. But Grandpa worries that all the things they love so much are in danger ... His letter is a hopeful plea to Mia (and to all of us) to continue to care for and protect our precious world. Michael Morpurgo is a master storyteller who has written over one hundred books and won countless awards. In 1976 Michael and his wife Clare started the charity Farms For City Children, which aims to relieve the poverty of experience of young children from inner city and urban areas. In 1999 they were awarded the MBE for their work in creating these farms and in 2006 Michael received an OBE. His novel War Horse has been adapted into a hugely successful and critically acclaimed West End play as well as a film adaptation directed by Steven Spielberg. Michael is a tireless champion for children's books and was formerly the Children's Laureate. Jim Field is an award-winning illustrator, character designer and animation director. He is perhaps best known for drawings frogs on logs in the bestselling picture book series Oi Frog! He has illustrated children's books with Kes Grey, Michelle Robinson, Rachel Bright, Jeanne Willis, Steve Cole and comedian David Baddiel. His first picture book Cats Ahoy won the Roald Dahl Funny Prize and he has been nominated for several other awards including the Kate Greenaway Award and the Sainsbury's Children's Book Award. In 2016, The Bookseller listed Jim as the 6th top selling illustrator. Jim grew up in Farborough and now lives in Paris with his wife and daughter.
Michael Morpurgo's global bestselling children's book War Horse has been adapted into a picture book for the first time. Illustrated throughout, it brings the beloved children's classic to life for kids aged 5 and up. Master storyteller Michael Morpurgo has adapted his much-loved novel, War Horse, for a picture book audience. This powerful book for younger readers tells the enduring story of a friendship between a boy and his horse and is a gateway to help children understand the history and chaos of the First World War. As we move beyond centenary commemorations and continue to strive for peace across the world, War Horse remains an important book for generations to come. Review for the novel: War Horse is a story of universal suffering for a universal audience by a writer who 'has the happy knack of speaking to both child and adult readers' - Guardian Michael Morpurgo has written more than one hundred books for children and won the Whitbread Award, the Smarties Award, the Circle of Gold Award, the Children's Book Award and has been short-listed for the Carnegie Medal four times.
When he lands a starring role in the school Christmas play of The Owl and the Pussycat, Michael is over the moon. He is going to be Owl - Too-wit-too-woo! And when his best friend, Belinda, is chosen to be Cat, Michael can't believe his luck - Miaow! But will it be all right on the night? Find out in this true story of first love and first-night nerves.
Specially commissioned by Michael Morpurgo to mark the 60th anniversary of VE day, this deeply moving collection features stories of war from the most well-loved voices in children's literature, including Michelle Magorian, Celia Rees, George Layton, Robert Westall, Joan Aiken, Eva Ibbotson, Geraldine McCaughrean and other top children's authors. From World War II to the Crusades, 1970s Beirut to the modern-day Middle East, these vivid stories explore wars throughout history. They examine not only the immediate consequences of war, but also what happens after the fighting is over. Waiting for Peace: War Stories was originally published as War: Stories of Conflict.
From master storyteller MICHAEL MORPURGO, and illustrated by the award-winning EMMA CHICHESTER CLARK, comes a surprising, charming and uplifting twist on The Wizard of Oz, told by a very special and unforgettable character: Dorothy's pet dog, Toto. A perfect, collectible gift for all children (and children at heart). I was there, Papa Toto said, and those magic words sent shivers down my spine. It was going to be the Wizard story. Dorothy and me were both there. We were all silent, snuggled up together, waiting, waiting. Then Papa Toto began... When a twister descends on their Kansas farm, Toto and his owner Dorothy hide in the house - only to be plucked into the air and whisked away! Coming down with a crash in the mysterious land of Oz, the pair meet a series of extraordinary characters: a scarecrow who believes he has no brains, a tin man without a heart, and a cowardly lion who may not be as cowardly as he thinks he is. But Toto and Dorothy are desperate to return home - after all, home is home, and home is best! So they set off with their new friends on a journey down the yellow brick road to find the only person who might be able to help them: the Wonderful Wizard of Oz. But what they find might surprise them. And on the way, all of them will learn that what they think they are missing might have been there, all along... Beautifully illustrated throughout, this is an unforgettable telling of a classic story, and a must for every bookshelf.
A gripping historical adventure by much-loved and award-winning author of War Horse, Michael Morpurgo. Soon to be a major motion picture, starring Stranger Things' Noah Schnapp. It is World War II and Jo stumbles on a dangerous secret: Jewish children are being smuggled away from the Nazis, close to his mountain village in Spain. Now, German soldiers have been stationed at the border. Jo must get word to his friends that the children are trapped. The slightest mistake could cost them their lives. Michael Morpurgo: The Master Storyteller. Former Children's Laureate Michael Morpurgo needs no introduction. One of the most successful children's authors in the country, and loved by children, teachers and parents alike. Michael has written more than forty books and won the Whitbread Award, the Smarties Award, the Circle of Gold Award, the Children's Book Award and has been shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal four times. His novels have been adapted for film (War Horse, My Friend Walter, Why the Whales Came) and stage (most recently, Kensuke's Kingdom for the Polka Theatre and War Horse,Why the Whales Came for Alibi.)
Beloved children's author Michael Morpurgo has re-imagined Raymond Briggs' classic The Snowman for a new generation of readers. One December morning, James is thrilled to wake up to see snow falling. He spends the whole day making his perfect snowman; he has coal eyes, an old green hat and scarf and a tangerine nose... just like the snowman from his favourite story. That night, something magical happens- the Snowman comes to life! He and James take to the skies on a magical adventure where they meet someone very special. Inspired by the timeless tale, Michael Morpurgo and Robin Shaw have created the perfect Christmas story for the whole family. The Snowman is the perfect festive read for ALL the family! For little ones: The Snowman board book For younger children: The Snowman classic picture book with no words For younger readers: The Snowman and Snowdog (a picture book with words) For 7+ readers: The Snowman - retold by Michael Morpurgo
Award-winning children's writer and former Children's Laureate Sir Michael Morpurgo has collected classic tales of heroism and adventure and put them all in one place. Here! From brave heroes and battling beasts to mighty gods and magic spells, these are timeless tales to treasure forever. Eye-catching colour illustrations bring the magic of these myths and legends to life. There are lots of stories to choose from, including Mulan, Icarus, and Hercules the Hero, plus a retelling of Gawain and the Green Knight written by Sir Michael himself, so whether you're looking for a quick read or a longer story to lose yourself in, something to read alone or a tale to share, there's an enchanting story within for everyone to find. A sumptuous gift edition for young readers to treasure, and a perfect companion to Greatest Animal Stories and Greatest Magical Stories.
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