In celebration of Michael Morpurgo’s birthday on 05 October, the staff at Egmont have shared some of their favourite works from the award winning children’s writer.
Shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal and Guardian Fiction award, Waiting for Anya takes readers to the heart of a tumultuous period in history.
Editorial Assistant Soraya Bouazzaoui says, ‘Very rarely do I want to go back to a book that absolutely broke me, yet time and time again I do it with this.
It’s a story of courage and compassion, one that forced me to face the brutality of the Second World War, and does it with a care and softness that not many children’s books have.
It’s the Michael Morpurgo story that I’ll remember forever, and I am beyond thrilled to see it brought to the screen in 2019.’
A spellbinding story, Little Foxes is a gripping and poignant animal adventure from Morpurgo.
Designer and Copywriter Todd Atticus says, ‘Little Foxes is the perfect book to encourage young children to develop an interest in wildlife and respect for the natural world.
This simple story of Billy and the wild animals he befriends stayed with me long after I’d turned the last page.
The emotional range – moving through fear, sadness, suspense and joy – combined with a charming story, means it ranks among my favourite Morpurgo books.’
Michael’s books have also been adapted for film and the stage, including the National Theatre’s enormously successful production of War Horse, making it a timeless favourite for so many.
— War Horse (@WarHorseOnStage) September 27, 2018
Sales Assistant Georgina Hill says, ‘War Horse is a really different way of approaching the events of the war. One that manages to show relationships, soldiers, people and animals all in a grounded, intricate way.
It is happy and sad and it is impossible to come out the other end dry-eyed.’
In the children’s classic Kensuke’s Kingdom, a young boy finds himself washed up on an island and separated from his parents. As he struggles to survive he soon discovers he may not be entirely alone.
Marketing Assistant Jasveen Bansal says, ‘Kensuke’s Kingdom is not just a book about survival.
It explores grief and loss, friendship and human connection despite age or obvious commonality.
With this book Michael touchingly reminds us that ultimately we all just want to be close to those who we love.’
Jo-Jo the Melon Donkey
From Michael and illustrator Helen Stephens comes a beautiful story about an evolving friendship.
Jo-Jo the Melon Donkey is a warm and hopeful picture book about humankind’s relationship with animals.
Publicity Executive Sarah Garnham said, ‘I think we all feel a bit like Jo-Jo sometimes, and Michael Morpurgo’s story reminds us that even if we’re different, we have our own talents to share.
The illustrations are so sweet and really bring life to this lovely story.’
Grandpa Christmas is the heartfelt new picture about a grandpa’s wish for his granddaughter to live in a better world.
‘Traditions are like new year’s resolutions, hearing about them is enough to get you ready to make your own and the annual re-reading of a letter from Mia’s grandpa at Christmas is so heart-warming you’ll wish you had a pen and paper nearby’, says Campaign Manager Olivia Carson.
‘Michael Morpurgo’s masterful storytelling is amplified by Jim Field’s stunning illustrations making this a story you’ll treasure forever.’
About Michael Morpurgo
Michael Morpurgo OBE taught for ten years and has published over 100 titles and has been translated in over 20 languages.
With his wife Clare he founded Farms for City Children, an educational charity, in 1976. The organisation now runs three farms welcoming over 3,000 children a year. In 1999 he was awarded an MBE for services to youth, and in 2006 he was awarded an OBE.
His books have won the Whitbread Award (The Wreck Of Zanzibar), the Smarties Book Prize (The Butterfly Lion), the Children’s Book Award (Kensuke’s Kingdom) and Cercle D’Or Prix Sorciere (King Of The Cloud Forests), the Blue Peter Book Award and the Califonia Young Reader Medal (Private Peaceful), the Independent Booksellers’ Book of the Year Award (Alone On A Wide Wide Sea) and several have been shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal.
Michael was Children’s Laureate from 2003-2005.