Posts tagged Michael Morpurgo

Win Pinocchio by Michael Morpurgo

“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.

To celebrate Michael Morpurgo Month we’re giving away 2 copies of Michael Morpurgo’s latest book, his retelling of the classic story, Pinocchio.  It’s a beautiful little book, with colour illustrations by Emma Chichester Clark.  Even if you’ve read the story of Pinocchio before, you won’t have heard Pinocchio’s story quite like this.  Michael Morpurgo has a great way of bringing classic stories alive and retelling them in a way that is unique and entertaining.

To go in the draw to win a copy of Pinocchio just enter your name and email address in the form below.  Entries close Wednesday 27 November.

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Michael Morpurgo Month – Shadow by Michael Morpurgo

November 2013 sees a month-long celebration of Michael Morpurgo’s wonderful stories, marking his 70th birthday this year.  We’re celebrating by highlighting some of our favourite Michael Morpurgo stories, including Shadow.

Life in Afghanistan is terrifying for Aman and his family and they want nothing more than to escape.  When a Springer Spaniel appears in the mouth of their cave, Aman nurses the dog back to health.  The dog is like a “friendly shadow” that stays with Aman and his family and so he decides to call her Shadow.  When life becomes more dangerous, Aman and his mother leave their home and escape, with Shadow leading the way.

One of the things I like about Michael Morpurgo’s books is that you often get two stories in one.  In Shadow you get the story of Aman and Shadow, but also the story of Matt and his grandfather who fight to free Aman from the refugee detention centre in England.  There are sad things that happen in the story but there are also plenty of good things that happen, like Aman finding Shadow.

This is the perfect book for anyone who likes animal stories, survival stories, and stories about people from other cultures.    Recommended for 9+         10 out of 10

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Celebrate Michael Morpurgo Month this November

November 2013 sees a month-long celebration of Michael Morpurgo’s wonderful stories, marking his 70th birthday this year.

Throughout November the Michael Morpurgo website is hosting brand new author videos, audio downloads and competitions, focussing on a different book each day. From War Horse to Beowulf and The Butterfly Lion to Kensuke’s Kingdom, celebrate 70 years of Michael Morpurgo’s stories this November.

We’ll be sharing some of our favourite Michael Morpurgo books here on the blog this month.  We’d also love you to share your favourites by writing a review or commenting on a post.

Here’s Michael Morpurgo talking about Michael Morpurgo Month:

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A Medal for Leroy by Michael Morpurgo

Michael Morpurgo has written some of my favourite stories – Private Peaceful, Alone on a Wide, Wide Sea, and Shadow.  He one of the best storytellers around.  Michael’s latest book, A Medal for Leroy, is inspired by the life of Walter Tull, the only black officer to serve in the British Army in the First World War.

Michael doesn’t remember his father, who died in a Spitfire over the English Channel. And his mother, heartbroken and passionate, doesn’t like to talk about him. But then Michael’s aunt gives him a medal and a photograph, which begin to reveal a hidden story.

A story of love, loss and secrets.

A story that will change everything – and reveal to Michael who he really is…

A Medal for Leroy is a story of war, love and family secrets.  Like many of Michael’s other stories, it’s told from the point of view of someone who is old (in this case Michael) looking back at his life and telling the reader the story of what happened.  I really like this style of storytelling because it makes you feel like you are just sitting down for a cup of tea with the main character while they tell you the story.  Michael tells us that he never knew his father because he died during the war, but his mother and his aunties love him very much.  When one of his aunties dies, she leaves a special package for Michael, full of family secrets.  In this package, Michael learns about his auntie’s life and about the father he never knew.  Her story is heart-breaking, but with moments of happiness and hope.

Once again, Michael Morpurgo has written an emotional story that you get caught up in.  Even though the war is happening, you hope that everything is going to be fine, that Martha will meet Leroy again, and her father will welcome her home.  As always, Michael presents the realities of war to portray what life was like during this horrible time.  Even though Michael has returned to a topic that he has written about many times before, A Medal for Leroy, is a different story and just as wonderful as his other war stories, like Private Peaceful, War Horse, and An Elephant in the GardenYou can read more about the person who inspired this story, Walter Tull, at the back of the book too.

4 out of 5 stars

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The War of Jenkins’ Ear by Michael Morpurgo

This story about a boy called Ashley Anderson. Ashley Anderson the son of the missionary in Ping Tong Chow. His father was very strict. That’s when the problem comes, but I’ll tell you that later.

The very begining is when Ashley’s mother meets his father. She was a nurse to help the injured soldiers of China; to help the hospital. She was also with her helper (as I called him) Zong Sung. But they just called him Uncle Sung. So that’s when they soon got married and gave birth to a child they called Ashley, Ashley Anderson. But just 6 months after she sadly died. So his father
would paint, in black letters, every year her name. Well then, Ashley wouldn’t really imagine up his mum’s face so that was sad. He then made friends with Lin, who was a really good swimmer and told him how to.

But that is not important, the yetis’ story is…to him…

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Win a War Horse Prize Pack

War Horse is one of the movies I can’t wait to see.  It’s directed by Steven Spielberg and based on the amazing book written by Michael Morpurgo.  To celebrate the release of the movie we have 4 War Horse prize packs to give away, thanks to Hardie Grant Egmont.  Four lucky kids will win a copy of the book and a double movie pass to go and see the movie.

All you have to do to get in the draw is leave a comment telling us:  What is your favourite animal story and why? Leave a comment on this post with your answer and your name and email address (so that we can contact you if you win).

Thank you to everyone who entered the competition.  The winners of the War Horse prize packs are:

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War Horse movie – what do you think?

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Little Manfred by Michael Morpurgo

I love both stories about war and stories about animals, which is my I love Michael Morpurgo.  Most of his stories are about war or animals and sometimes both.  His latest book is called Little Manfred and it’s about war, and a dog that sparks the memories of an old man.

It’s the summer of 1966 and Charley and her little brother, Alex, are walking their dog Manfred on the beach by their home when they notice two old men staring out to sea.  When the two men discover that their dog is called Manfred, this sparks the memories of Walter and he tells the children about his experiences during World War II.  Through Walter’s story, Charley and Alex learn about their mother’s past and her connection to Manfred, a German prisoner of war who was posted at her farmhouse when she was a little girl.

Michael Morpurgo has woven another amazing story of friendship, bravery, and forgiveness that transported me to another time and another place.   Whenever I read a Michael Morpurgo book it’s almost as if he is sitting on my couch or in the library beside me, telling me the story, because I can hear his voice in my head.  If you’ve ever seen one of his videos of him reading you’ll know that he’s got the perfect storytelling voice.  Michael Foreman’s illustrations, once again, perfectly match the story because they can be bright and happy or dark and gloomy.  I think Michael Morpurgo’s books are perfect for anyone and if you haven’t read any of his books, Little Manfred is a great one to start with.

Recommended for 7+    10 out of 10

If you want to know more about the story and find out what Michael Morpurgo’s inspiration was, you can read about it on the Guardian Children’s Books website.

HarperCollins NZ also have Little Manfred featured as their Book of the Week on their Facebook page.  Head on over for your chance to win a copy.

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Not Bad for a Bad Lad by Michael Morpurgo

Michael Morpurgo’s latest book is about a boy who is always getting into trouble.  Everyone is always telling him he’s a bad lad.  He gets caught playing on bomb sites, banging rubbish bin lids and stealing tomatoes and even a car.  He gets arrested and sentenced to a year in Borstal, which was a prison for young offenders where they could learn a trade like carpentry, painting or bricklaying.  The judge sends him there to think things over and learn his lesson.  The first few months are tough and the boys are worked hard, ‘laying bricks for hours on end in all weathers, making bread in the kitchens, weeding in the vegetable garden.’  Every morning the boys have to go on a two-mile run and the bad lad likes running past the stables.  One morning, as he goes past the stables the old man who looks after the horses calls him over and offers him an amazing opportunity to help out in the stables. This opportunity helps him to turn his life around and make his family proud of him.

Not Bad for a Bad Lad is another amazing story from Michael Morpurgo and Michael Foreman, the author and illustrator of War Horse, Kaspar: Prince of Cats and Billy the KidMichael Morpurgo often writes stories about an older person telling a child about their interesting life, and this is one of those stories.  The story is inspirational and Michael Foreman’s illustrations add perfectly to the story.  Don’t get put off by the picture of the horse on the front cover because this isn’t just a story about a horse.  This is a must-read for all Michael Morpurgo fans, but a great book to delve into if you haven’t read any of his books yet.  

Recommended for 9+    10 out of 10

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War Horse movie trailer

War Horse is Michael Morpurgo’s amazing story about a boy who sets out on a journey to rescue his horse from the battlefields of  World War I.  You have to wait until December 29th 2011 to watch the movie, but you can get the book from your library now so that you can read it before you watch it.

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The story behind Michael Morpurgo’s Shadow

Now that you know all about the story, reserve a copy of Shadow at your library.  If you’ve read Shadow, you already know what an amazing story it is and that Michael Morpurgo is a brilliant author.

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Shadow by Michael Morpurgo

Most booklovers know and adore Michael Morpurgo’s work. If you don’t, Shadow is the perfect book to get you started.

This stunning title is about a boy called Aman who is telling his story to his best friend’s grandfather at Yarl’s Wood Detention Centre, along with other Afghani refugees. This is a tale of courage, bravery, and one life-changing dog.

My favourite character was Aman’s mother because she is so incredibly brave and always believing; God is good, God will help us. She is a tremendously important character in the story.

Shadow is definitely a ‘must read’, so I would recommend it to ages 9+ because the reader would then be able to appreciate some of the situations more accurately.

Saoirse, 10

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Mudpuddle Farm by Michael Morpurgo

This book is about a funny farm called Mudpuddle Farm. It is written by Michael Morpurgo, one of my favourite authors. On this farm are Mossop, Jigger, Peggoty, Albertine, Frederick, Diana, Aunty Grace, Primrose, Upside, Down, Penelope, Captain, Egbert and Farmer Rafftery!

This book has six wonderful adventures in it and these adventures are extremely funny. My favourite character is Mossop because he is lazy and sleeping most of the time. My favourite adventure would have to be number five. Read to find what happens in number five!!!

I recommend this collection of breathtaking stories to age 7+. I also recommend it to animal-lovers and readers who like funny stories.

Eibhlin, aged 8

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Best Mate by Michael Morpurgo

Best Mate (also published as Born to Run) is a book about a greyhound dog called Best Mate who starts a journey of a lifetime when he is abandoned as a puppy and rescued by a boy named Patrick. He loves his life with Patrick until two animals smugglers come and capture Best Mate and take him away to be raced against other greyhounds. The racer’s daughter Becky soon learns ugly truth and runs away with Best Mate, whom she calls Brighteyes. But life in the streets is a horrible nightmare. Brighteyes and Becky have some trouble (I won’t spoil it with details) and Brighteyes must start yet another life …

Great book! My favourite part was when Patrick risked his own safety rescuing Best Mate and his siblings from the disgusting canal water. It was very heroic! The best thing about this book is the satisfying, but unsatisfying, ending. And the ending made me think about things from each of the main characters’ point of view: Patrick’s, Joe’s, and Best Mate’s etc..

I also liked that every few chapters we got to hear the thoughts and feelings of Best Mate himself and this added an extra element to the story to be able to see what both the person and the dog were thinking about the same situation. I thought that the way Michael Morpurgo writes his words make you feel like he is bursting with ideas and words and ways to describe things. He uses great language and clear uncluttered ideas.

This book is for animal lovers and kids who like a bit of adventure. It would be best for kids 8+. I give it a 11 out of 10.

Best Mate proves that it is not just cats that can have more than one life.

Saoirse, 10

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Kaspar by Michael Morpurgo

This story is about a cat called Kaspar, the Prince of Cats. No one is his owner. He lives at The Savoy Hotel with Countess Kadinsky. Sadly, she gets run over and Kaspar is miserable. Elizabeth arrives and takes Kaspar on a boat trip on the Titanic. What happens next …?

My favourite part was when Lizziebeth (Elizabeth) and her family came because Johnny (the bellboy at the Hotel) was happy to see her and her family. It made me feel like I got lost in the book with the characters.

My favourite character was Kaspar because he was a real superhero – he coped with someone dying and he is the Prince of Cats. The ending was sad.

I liked the way the author made you feel like you were inside the story, I liked Kaspar (because I’m a cat girl!) and I liked the way the author made the action exciting.

I would recommend this book because it is exciting and I like the way the author used the words and adjectives. And I liked the pictures. I give this book 10 out of 10.

Eibhlin, 8

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War Horse movie and Horrid Henry in 3D

Two book related movies are filming later this year and will come out in cinemas at the end of next year.  One that I’m very excited about is Michael Morpurgo’s book War Horse that is being made into a movie directed by Steven Spielberg, the man behind some huge movies like Jurassic Park, E.T. and Indianna Jones.   War Horse tells the story of a horse as he moves from life on a farm to the battles of World War 1.  Through the eyes of the war horse, Joey, Michael Morpurgo tells the moving and powerful story of survival on the western front.  I’m sure it will be a great movie, but if you haven’t read the book I highly recommend it, and all of Michael Morpurgo’s other books.

Francesca Simon’s Horrid Henry will also be showing up on the movie screen in 3D and is being directed by the same person as Nanny McPhee.  Horrid Henry is one of the most popular book characters and he’s been up to so much trouble over the years.  It will be interesting to see what he gets up to in the movie and see how horrible they make him on the big screen.

Would you go and see these movies when they come out next year?

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Writing Tip of the Week – Michael Morpurgo

This week’s writing tip comes from one of my favourite author’s, Michael Morpurgo, the author of Alone on a Wide, Wide Sea, The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips, Running Wild and Kaspar, Prince of Cats.  For something different, here is a video of Michael Morpurgo giving his own writing tips.

Visit Michael Morpurgo’s website for more information about him and his books.

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Michael Morpurgo has An Elephant in the Garden

Michael Morpurgo is one of my favourite authors.  I’ve read nearly all of his books and when a new one comes out I rush out to get it.  He is a fantastic storyteller and has written hundreds of stories about all sorts of things including World War 1 and 2, the legends of King Arthur, sailing around the world, cats on the Titanic, and whales swimming up the river Thames in London.  His stories draw you in and you really care about his characters, whether they are humans or animals.

Michael Morpurgo’s latest book is called An Elephant in the Garden and if I had to tell you what it’s about in one sentence I’d say it’s a story of survival.  Elizabeth, now an old woman, tells Karl and his mother of her escape from Dresden, in Germany, when it was bombed during World War 2.  They escape thanks to the elephant from her mother’s zoo who has been living in their garden.  Their journey is tough through the snow-covered landscape, especially with an elephant.  Will they make it to safety?  You’ll have to read this fantastic book to find out.

If you like books set during war-time, books about animals, or survival stories then this book is for you.  10 out of 10.  For readers 9+.

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