A miracle from Mr Morpurgo

Here’s an article in the Guardian by UK author Michael Morpurgo that gave me goosebumps. I’d recommend it to anyone working with children, particularly if you’re despairing over whether you’re making any headway. Miracles happen.

As a beginner-author, it’s also instructive to hear Mr Morpurgo tell of sitting at the feet of two established writers and being the ‘minnow’ of their group. He’s no minnow any more, having penned umpteen books and served as Britain’s Children’s Laureate from 2003-2005.

My god-daughter loves his books. I’m reasonably confident I know my son’s literary tastes, given I read to him almost every night. I’ll admit I didn’t think Mr Morpurgo’s stories would engage the Little Dragon (apart from Beowulf). I’m pleased to say I was wrong. The Little Dragon picked up a copy of Kaspar Prince of Cats and devoured it, rating it one of the best books he has read.

Mr Morpurgo visited Victoria a couple of years back and spoke at the State Library. He sat on stage in his cardigan and told stories with such humility and warmth it was impossible not to like him. I think he became a grandfather to everyone in the room that night – including a family who had travelled from Brisbane, from memory, in order to hear him a second time.

The HarperCollins staff hosting Mr Morpurgo introduced me to him and mentioned my first book, Game as Ned to him. He immediately asked them if a copy could be found for him so he could read it. I have no idea whether he was ever given my book and, if he was, whether he had time to read it.

I’ll always appreciate his gesture though. It made me feel like an equal for a moment or two, rather than a wannabe.

The world needs more people like Michael Morpurgo.

4 thoughts on “A miracle from Mr Morpurgo”

  1. I would travel to hear him speak too. I was lucky enough to phone interview him when he came to Australia last time. And I think I was lucky to get any coherent sentences out (I don’t think he noticed though. Charming is the word that springs to mind.) I’ll never forget the way I felt after reading the first of many of his books. Speechless. The Little Dragon might like Best Mate or the Australian connection of Alone on a Wide Wide Sea (ocean crossings being very topical too!)

  2. I couldnt agree more with you on this! I love his books!

    One day a young debut novelist will, no doubt, say the very same thing about you 🙂

  3. G’day Sandy – scoring an interview was a good get! It was Best Mate he was out here to promote, wasn’t it? I’ll certainly be chasing up other titles for the Little Dragon, including Alone on a Wide Wide Sea and Private Peaceful, which sounds great, too.

    Hope all’s well with you and the Samurai Kids.

    Tim

  4. Thanks for the vote of confidence! But I’m thinking it will be many years before I can don the cardigan with such casual aplomb. 😉

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