Friday, 21st February 2014
The winner of the Morpurgo Month competition is announced.
Schools were asked to create reviews for their favourite Michael Morpurgo Month books. These could take any format schools chose; they just needed to demonstrate how much the pupils love the 30 titles included in Morpurgo Month, a celebration of Michael’s books for his 70th birthday.
An overwhelming number of brilliant entries were received from schools, all demonstrating their passion for Michael’s books. Choosing a winning entry and three runner-up schools was a challenging task with many hours spent enjoying the amazing work that has clearly been put into each review.
After much deliberation, Checkendon C of E Primary School in Reading has been chosen as the overall winner, combining creativity with detailed and thought-provoking reviews of all the books featured in Morpurgo Month. Divided into four themes, the books included:
Animals: War Horse, Farm Boy, The Dancing Bear, Born to Run, Butterfly Lion, Not Bad for a Bad Lad, Little Foxes, Out of the Ashes, Cool!
War: Shadow, Private Peaceful, A Medal for Leroy, Why the Whales Came, The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips, An Elephant in the Garden, Little Manfred, The Mozart Question
Legends: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Beowulf, Outlaw, The White Horse of Zennor, The Last Wolf, My Friend Walter, Sparrow
Voyages: Kensuke’s Kingdom, Running Wild, Twist of Gold, Dear Olly, Alone on a Wide Wide Sea, Kaspar Prince of Cats
In addition to winning a visit from Michael Morpurgo, they receive a set of 30 books for their school library.
Three runners-up have also been chosen and include: King’s College – The British School of Murcia; Ysgol Gymraeg Trelyn in Blackwood and Caddington Village School in Luton, who each receive a set of Michael Morpurgo books for their school library.
Congratulations to the winning schools and a huge thank you to all of the schools who took part.
Wednesday, 12th February 2014
Michael Morpurgo will launch Private Peaceful Day on March 31 with a live Q&A via satellite following special screenings of the film for schools. In a major screening event for schools, 100 cinemas including Picturehouse & Cineworld, will show the film across the UK as part of the Centenary commemorations of WW1. Students will then be able to watch Michael answer questions live about Private Peaceful after the screening. Schools attending the screenings will be invited to send in their questions, with the best being asked during the Q&A.
Each pupil attending the screenings on Private Peaceful Day will receive a free Michael Morpurgo book donated by HarperCollins. The screenings are part of a wider programme of events around Michael’s seminal book, which has been a mainstay of WW1 teaching for almost a decade.
Private Peaceful is a moving story of brotherhood, comradeship and the impact of war, recounting the story of brothers Tommo & Charlie Peaceful from their rural childhood in the fields of Devon to the battlefields of Flanders.
Michael Morpurgo says: “Private Peaceful deals with one of the darkest aspects of a terrible war; the execution of our own side. I wrote it wanting to highlight what I believed to be the injustice of those shot at dawn, but also to show the impact of the war, of any war, on family and friends and loved ones. This heartfelt and moving film brings vividly to life the simple fact that soldiers are human beings, not just uniforms.”
Guy de Beaujeu, the film’s producer says: “The film has been praised by teachers as an excellent teaching aid in its depictions of WW1 and for remaining true to Michael’s original novel. There is a growing realisation among education providers that Private Peaceful is the perfect project for the Centenary – it is non-judgemental, non-jingoistic and unsentimental.”
Throughout the year audiences will be able to see and take part in a range of events and activities around Private Peaceful. The launch will coincide with a major initiative by CityRead London. The charity has chosen Private Peaceful as the book all of London will be encouraged to read for a week from 31 March.
The nation’s 4,000 libraries are also being encouraged to join in with Private Peaceful Day to get the whole nation reading the book and seeing some version of Private Peaceful. Following the screenings, the National Literacy Trust, working with Film Nation will create a major cross-curricula resource for schools available off and online, to encourage greater understanding of the issues raised by Private Peaceful.
Schools wishing to book screenings can see the list of participating cinemas and booking details on www.privatepeaceful.co.uk.
Monday, 10th February 2014
Last week the longlist for the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medals revealed that Where My Wellies Take Me is a contender for the much celebrated medal. The shortlists for both the CILIP Carnegie Medal and the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal 2014 will be announced on Tuesday 18 March, with the winners being announced in June.
This highly-illustrated book - part poetry anthology, part child’s scrapbook - tells the story of Pippa who loves staying with her Aunty Peggy. She loves going for walks, whether it’s sunshiney or cold – long, wandering walks where her wellies take her. Follow Pippa into the beautiful countryside as her day unfolds, and the wildlife, animals and people she encounters are complemented by relevant poems from some of our greatest authors, personally chosen by Clare and Michael Morpurgo. This is a truly lavish project designed to instil a love of language in young children.
Written by Clare & Michael Morpurgo. Illustrated by Olivia Lomenech Gill.
Friday, 7th February 2014
Librarians and children from Chatterbooks children’s reading groups were enlisted to help select this year’s Summer Reading Challenge titles, which includes Michael Morpurgo’s celebrated lifetime of tales.
Of Lions and Unicorns is the most comprehensive and definitive Michael Morpurgo collection ever and features twenty-five enchanting short stories as well as extracts from twenty-five of his best-loved novels.
The theme for this year’s Challenge is Mythical Maze and is illustrated by Sarah MacIntyre. The theme introduces “children to fantastical creatures from the world of legend and mythology and invites them to collect stickers of the characters”. Libraries will be encouraged to seek out local myths and legends, involve heritage groups and storytellers and engage schools in the run-up to the summer holidays.
The announcement of this year’s list comes the day before National Libraries Day (8th February). Sue Wilkinson, director of The Reading Agency, said:
“The Summer Reading Challenge book collections that we’re announcing for National Libraries Day are examples of the exciting range of books and reading activities on offer at libraries that really inspire children to become enthusiastic readers.
“We have worked with publishers, librarians and children to create and champion these new book collections, so even more children will be turned on to reading at libraries this summer.”
Get involved with the summer reading challenge
Check out the Summer Reading Challenge website where children can chat, get reading recommendations and play games.
Parents can join the facebook page to find out the latest news about the 2014 Challenge.