Thursday, 18 August 2011

The Butterfly Lion - Michael Morpurgo

I told my daughter i was reading the Butterfly Lion and she said that when she had read it, she didn't enjoy it and didn't get the ending. I read it in about three days - it's only a short book written for children to read. I think i picked it up in the 5-8 year old section of Waterstones and i think it is just perfect for this age group.

It was inspired by Michael Morpurgo's life and contains at least some truth and Michael does list this book has one of his favourites. One day a small boy decides to run away from school and away from the bullies. As he leaves the school ground he meets an old lady walking a dog and she takes him back to her home where she tells him a magical story of the man she loved, Bert and the Butterfly Lion. 

It is only after the small boy returns to school at the end of the day and sit down for dinner that he learns a secret, which i won't tell here but he comes to realise that things happen for a reason and life is full of magic and he had been given a task to perform to keep the memory of 'Albert Andrews VC' alive.

It's a lovely little story full of feelings and emotions and in some places quite sad and although it doesn't have an upbeat happy ending it does have a kind of determination that only children can have.

Michael Morpurgo was born in 1943 he attended schools in London, Sussex and Canterbury. He went on to London University to study English and French and then became a teacher. He realised that the children in his class found the books he had to read to them every day boring and so he decided to tell them his own stories. This is how he discovered what it was he wanted to do.

 He is married to Clare, has three children and six grandchildren and is very involved with charity work on behalf of children. He now lives in Devon.

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