Posts Tagged ‘michael morpurgo’

Another annual favourite, Emma Chichester-Clark has become something of a cult name in picture books along with Emily Gravett and Oliver Jeffers.

Lily and Blue Kangaroo are getting ready for Christmas. They’re wrapping presents, making delicious things to eat and the whole family is coming round for the big day. And of course, Blue Kangaroo is the centre of attention but he’s worried he wont have a gift for Lily on Christmas Day. She’s always so kind to him and he just wants to show her how much he loves her. Who could possibly help him as he lies in bed worried on Christmas Eve? A lovely little tale from a household favourite. The charming friendship of a girl and her little blue kangaroo is timeless and a festive story always goes down well.

Emma Chichester-Clark’s illustrations are just beautiful and she has just drawn the illustrations for a beautiful picture book edition of Hansel and Gretel, edited by Michael Morpurgo. Full of colour, depth and glitter; just the way it should be, this is a book to treasure.

Merry Christmas, Blue Kangaroo is published by HarperCollins, £5.99 or £7.99 for the book and CD edition


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Say Michael Morpurgo to any nine year old girl or boy and it’s bound to bring a smile to their face. Mr Morpurgo is iconic in the world of children’s literature; his ability to charm his way in to so many lives of children is astounding and I must say he always brings a smile to my (almost) adult face.

His latest piece of fiction ‘Elephant in the Garden’ is a treasure. I read it in manuscript form (feeling very important) on the train to London and was completely submerged and finished it in one journey. The story is told by an old lady with a great story to tell. Now living in a care home she has few to tell the story to, except little boy Karl who listens with open ears…as you will too.

Her story follows elephant Marlene who is at risk of being shot as the second world war escalates in Dresden. With air raids happening left right and centre it’s up to the zoo controller to shoot all the animals so they don’t escape from the zoo. Horrified at this Elizabeth, her mother and her brother Karli welcome Marlene into their family and together they face the trials of an air raid, travelling through the harsh German winter and facing adversity and finding new loves in the face of the enemy.

This book is split between two narratives as Elizabeth recalls her story and we merge history with present. This is a charming story which will warm your heart and personalise the war as we learn the story from a German family. After all, everyone has an elephant in the garden!

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I’ve got some exciting copies on my way, if Postman Pat hurries up. So up for review in the next couple of weeks are:

Michael Morpurgo ‘An Elephant in the Garden’

Amazon description: A thrilling and moving new novel about an extraordinary animal caught up in a very human war, for anyone who loved The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips or The Butterfly Lion! It’s 1944. Elizabeth’s father is fighting with the German army on the eastern front. Her mother works at Dresden zoo, where her favourite animal is a young elephant named Marlene. When the zoo director tells her the dangerous animals must be shot to prevent them running amok if the town is bombed, Elizabeth’s mother moves Marlene into the back garden to save her! and then the bombs start to fall. Their home destroyed, Elizabeth and her family must flee the bombed-out city and through the wintery landscape, all the while avoiding the Russian troops who are drawing ever closer. It would be hard enough, without an elephant in tow!

Jandy Nelson ‘The Sky is Everywhere’

Amazon description:  Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker spends her time tucked safely and happily in the shadow of her fiery older sister, Bailey. But when Bailey dies abruptly, Lennie is catapulted to centre stage of her own life – and, despite her nonexistent history with boys, suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two. Toby was Bailey’s boyfriend; his grief mirrors Lennie’s own. Joe is the new boy in town, with a nearly magical grin. One boy takes Lennie out of her sorrow, the other comforts her in it. But the two can’t collide without Lennie’s world exploding…

Liz Kessler ‘Philippa Fisher and the Stone Fairy’s Promise’

Amazon description: Philippa is looking forward to spending New Year in the village where her new friend Robyn lives. But her fairy godsister Daisy, assigned to a new job but disobeying orders as usual, turns up to warn her that something really bad (SRB) is going to happen! What they don’t know is that a fairy has gone missing from the ancient stone circle on the moors -and that at ATC (Above the Clouds) Headquarters, the fairy godmothers in charge have a special plan for them. A perfect story for Liz Kessler’s many fans, in which humans and fairies swap worlds with dramatic and unexpected consequences.

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Apologies for the lack of updates, Christmas preparations got the better of me. But as Christmas comes ever closer, try and find some time to curl up with the kids (by the fire is preferable since it’s so cold at the moment) and indulge in a little fairy story by the evangelical (in my eyes) Michael Morpurgo.

The Best of Times

The Best of Times is a charming story of a Prince who really does care for his sad Princess. It’s a lovely old time tale of chivalry and reminds us that people need caring for and we must not lay idly by as people are sad. What makes this story however are the illustrations by Emma Chichester-Clark. She is most famed for her classis stories of Blue Kangaroo and her style is fast becoming as recognizable as dear Quentin Blake’s.

The book is a small little hardbook and an easy read, available in all book stores. ISBN: 9781405232555

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