Tag Archives: Michael Morpurgo

Lockdown Reads

Lockdown Reads with Michael Morpurgo

We caught up with acclaimed children’s author Michael Morpurgo to discuss books and reading – and which books he would choose if he could only have three while in lockdown!

Michael Morpurgo
Michael Morpurgo

If you could only have three books to read in lockdown, what would they be?

The complete works of Shakespeare because I am actually re-telling some of Shakespeare’s plays right now. Perhaps a poetry collection – I love poetry so perhaps The Rattle Bag edited by Seamus Heaney and Ted Hughes or the poetry of Sean Rafferty who was a poet who lived near us in our village in Devon. Another suggestion would be the biography of Samuel Pepys – The Unequalled Self by Claire Tomalin.

What is your favourite place to read?

I love to read somewhere comfortable – sitting on my bed with lots of pillows propped up behind me with the book on my knees. This is how I write too.

Who do you go to for book recommendations?

My wife a lot of the time but also friends recommend and send me books.

Why do you read?

Reading makes you realise you are not alone and enables you to escape and meet people from all over the world. And books and reading give you knowledge and understanding and insights into yourself and others.

Reading makes you realise you are not alone and enables you to escape and meet people from all over the world.

When I was a boy I didn’t like reading but I loved stories and being read to. I was lucky because my mother always read to my brother and I the stories and poems that she loved – Kipling, Walter de la Mare and Robert Louis Stevenson and she passed on to me her love of words and stories and poems.

Why do you think it is important that everyone has access to books?

Because reading can and does change lives.

Despite everything – great teachers, writers, illustrators, publishers and libraries – there still exists a divide, between haves and have-nots, between those who read, who through books, through developing an enjoyment of literature, can have the opportunity to access the considerable cultural and material benefits of our society; and those who were made to feel very early on that the world of words, of books, of stories, of ideas, was not for them.

 

Michael Morpurgo OBE is one of Britain’s best-loved writers for children. He has written over 150 books, has served as Children’s Laureate, and has won many prizes, including the Smarties Prize, the Writers Guild Award, the Whitbread Award, the Blue Peter Book Award and the Eleanor Farjeon Lifetime Achievement Award. With his wife, Clare, he is the co-founder of Farms for City Children. Michael was knighted in 2018 for services to literature and charity.

His latest book, Boy Giant, is published by HarperCollins. Find out more here.

Boy Giant

 

20 reasons to celebrate children's books

A pathway to understanding

On Thursday 2nd March, World Book Day turns 20! That’s 20 years of celebrating children’s books and the joy that reading can bring.

To mark this special anniversary, we’ve teamed up with 20 top children’s authors, illustrators, publishers and journalists to bring you 20 reasons to celebrate children’s books.

Today we are delighted to welcome one of Britain’s best-loved children’s authors, Michael Morpurgo to share why, for him, children’s books are so special:

 

Michael Morpurgo

 

 

Perhaps what children need most in this ever more complex world, along with love and food and shelter and clean water, is to learn empathy, to understand the lives of others, the lives of creatures great and small, to discover the wonders and fragility of the earth around us.

Books are the best pathway to that understanding.  They open eyes, and hearts and minds.

 

Michael Morpurgo is one of Britain’s best-loved writers for children and has won many prizes, including the Smarties Prize, The Writers Guild Award and the Blue Peter Book Award for his recent novel, Private Peaceful, which has also had two successful runs as a play devised by Bristol Old Vic. From 2003 to 2005 he was the Children’s Laureate, a role which took him all over the UK to promote literacy and reading, and in 2005 he was named the Booksellers Association Author of the Year. Find out more about Michael and his books here.

 

World Book Day is an annual celebration of authors. illustrators, books and reading. Every year on World Book Day, thousands of school children dress up as their favourite children’s book characters to raise money for Book Aid International, so we can send more brand new books to libraries and schools in Africa. Last year they raised over £120,000 – enough to send 60,000 books to communities where children would otherwise have extremely limited opportunities to read! Learn more about World Book Day here.

Visit our World Book Day resources page for fundraising ideas, classroom resources and costume guides. Fundraise for Book Aid International this World Book Day and share the joy of reading with children in communities where books are scarce.

 

Belo Children's Corner, Cameroon

It’s just one month to World Book Day!

In exactly one month’s time, on 2nd March, children and adults up and down the country will be celebrating World Book Day by fundraising for Book Aid International.

World Book Day is the UK’s annual celebration of children’s authors, illustrators, books and reading and we here at Book Aid International will be joining the celebrations!

 

World Book Day logo

 

20 reasons to celebrate children’s books

2017 marks the 20th anniversary of World Book Day! To help us celebrate this extra-special occasion, 20 top children’s authors, publishers and journalists will be blogging for us about why we should celebrate children’s books.

Keep an eye on our blog for posts from Michael Morpurgo, Malorie Blackman, David Almond, Cressida Cowell and many more! We’ll be posting every week day between now and 2nd March so why not check in each day with your child or class?

 

SING COL Zigoti Children's Corner (19)

 

Resources to make your World Book Day go with a bang!

Every year on World Book Day, thousands of school children dress up as their favourite children’s book characters to raise money for us, so we can send more brand new books to libraries and schools in Africa. Last year they raised over £120,000 – enough to send 60,000 books to communities where children would otherwise have extremely limited opportunities to read.

We hope that schools will join us on 2nd March in making 2017 the best World Book Day yet for readers across Africa and in the UK .

We have a whole host of brilliant resources for parents and teachers to make your World Book Day activities as fun –and easy – as possible:

Dress up guides

We’ve 28 costume guides available including 10 new ones for 2017. Characters include Harry Potter, Katniss Everdene and The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

This year’s costumes include many options which can be assembled for free in just a few minutes, using items you already have at home. Nine of the costumes this year also feature step-by-step videos and all of the costumes are no-sew, so 2017 will be the easiest year yet for parents to take part in World Book Day.

20 fab fundraising ideas

For this, the 20th year of World Book Day, we’ve come up with 20 fun ways you can fundraise for us. From a book swap to a digital detox or silly sports day, there are lots of great ideas to get you started.

 

children reading

 

Classroom resources

We’ve also heaps of free downloadable maps, masks, games and presentations to bring our work to life and Africa into your classroom. Our films are also a great way for pupils to meet just a few of the people whose lives have been changed for the better by books.

We hope that you’ll be celebrating World Book Day too! If we can support your celebrations in any way, please contact worldbookday@bookaid.org. We’d also love to share your stories and photos on social media, so please do get in touch.

For our full World Book Day resources, take a look at the links below.