About our Guest
Sir Michael Morpurgo OBE was the third Children’s Laureate 2003-05, and is one of the Nation’s best-loved storytellers who has written about a hundred and fifty books for children including the bestselling title War Horse and award-winning titles Private Peaceful, Kensukes’s Kingdom and King of the Cloud Forests. You can find out more about him and his writing by visiting his website.
In this podcast he talks about his inspiration for five recently published and highly personal stories, as well as sharing his lockdown experience and a tantalising glimpse of his work in progress. *We apologise for our factual error in the podcast’s introduction stating that Michael was ‘the first Children’s Laureate at a time when his friend and neighbour Ted Hughes was the Poet Laureate’. Ted Hughes was the Poet Laureate 1984 – 1998.
Copies of the featured books are available to purchase from the Bookshop page of this website and the author has kindly agreed to sign a dedication on some special bookplates. This rare opportunity is available for a limited period of time only and 20% will be donated to Farms for City Children, the charity that he established with his wife Clare over 45 years ago, enabling children from the city to experience the life of farmer for a week.
Another 15% from each book sale will be directed to our non-profit Kids’ Reviews project, promoting reading for pleasure and encouraging children to discover new books, different authors and become confident communicators by providing them with books to review and a platform for their reviews to be visible.
Photo credit: Phil Crow
The Puffin Keeper illustrated by Benji Davies is a semi auto-biographical story dedicated to the author’s father-in-law, the late Sir Allen Lane, founder of Penguin Books. It describes the tale of a boy who was rescued by a lighthouse keeper and their mutual love for drawing and puffins and a touching friendship that lasted for many years. It is published by Puffin Books.
The Birthday Duck illustrated by Sam Usher is set in Devon and dedicated to the Farms for City Children. It is a fictitious account of one young boy’s visit with his school to Nethercott. Initially apprehensive about being away from home for a week, it describes how he finds the best Birthday present for his grandfather. It is published by Harper Collins.
A Song of Gladness illustrated by Emily Gravett calls us all to come together and celebrate the world we share and all that is living with us. Inspired by a blackbird’s song heard by the author at the beginning of the pandemic it is a hymn to belonging and a reminder that we are all part of an interwoven existence with Nature. It is published by Two Hoots (Macmillan).
Owl or Pussycat? published by David Fickling Books, with set design by Polly Dunbar is an account of the author’s first appearance on the stage with his fictitious sweetheart, Belinda. Readers of any age will be transported back to their own first school play experience; the backstage nerves, the excitement and the sound of the applause…
War Horse, the important story of a friendship between a boy and his horse, that inspired stage and screen adaptations, has been re-written by the author for younger readers. This picture book edition with glossy illustrations by Tom Clohosy Cole using an almost graphic-novel like style enables this classic story to be enjoyed by children from aged five and above. (It was enjoyed by our seven-year-old reviewer.)
We have created a collection of our favourite Michael Morpurgo titles, available in paperback at a discounted price from Bookshop.org
The Podcast Bookshop
If you would like to order a personalised signed copy of the books that were featured in the podcast you can place your order by clicking on the picture of the front cover of the book below.
*Please be aware that this offer is only available for a limited period of time
As our copies will be individually dedicated it is only possible to order a single copy of each title per order.
All prices include postage to addresses in the United Kingdom
International customers wishing to buy from abroad or use an overseas delivery address are kindly invited to contact us directly to place their order.
In a Nutshell
- Tea or Coffee: Tea with milk
- Accompanying snack: A Fat Rascal (Yorkshire scone)
- Ebook or physical copy: Actual books
- Story most proud of: Farms for City Children
- Special Book to Save: Ariel by André Maurois
- Fantasy Lockdown Location: Somewhere by the sea