If you ask me who my favorite children’s author is, I reply hands down, Michael Morpurgo. He was unknown to me until I came to Cyprus and ordered his book, The Butterfly Lion for the library. I took it home, read it overnight, returned to school and read it to the first class scheduled for library time the next day which happened to be a group of 4th graders. Nothing peaks the interest of children more than out of the ordinary animal stories with ghosts or a touch of the mysterious added in. That is why I was happy when a parent showed up the other day in the library and talked about another book by Michael Morpurgo, WarHorse and how it had been made into a London play that used enormous horse puppets.
The next day her daughter brought a copy of the book to me so that I could read it. Michael Morpurgo wrote it ages ago, actually, in the mid-eighties. From its recent popularity as a London show, it is now back in print. I predict further editions, since the story will be crossing the Atlantic for the spring opening of WarHorse on New York’s Broadway this coming April. Hang on for a media blitz in December 2011 when this tale will be transformed as a Steven Spielburg film. The brilliance of this book comes from Morpurgo capturing within the pages the human frailty and heroism of soldiers on both sides of the World War I trenches and recounting it all through the eyes of an apolitical horse. A copy of Warhorse has been donated to our library and it is now catalogued and ready to be checked out. I recommend it for upper elementary and middle school students as well as for their parents and grandparents. As a reminder, if you haven’t yet visited our library at the top of the stairs, it is open for use by our entire community.