Singing For Mrs Pettigrew

I'm embarrassed to say that I haven't read much by Michael Morpurgo, except Private Peaceful and I think one other, whose name escapes me. He is much beloved by members of my book group -- indeed Singing For Mrs Pettigrew is a loan from Suzanne -- and they know what they're talking about. As a former UK Children's Laureate, he is well qualified to talk about writing, and this collection of stories and essays is lovely to look at and lovely to read.

Some of these stories are drawn from Morpurgo's own childhood, while others were inspired by war or nature. The stories are very moving and often sad, illuminated by the essays which speak simply and tenderly about the craft of story-telling, and poetry and belonging, about childhood and war and a sense of home.

Though this book is ostensibly for young readers, I think it might appeal more to people like me, who I have called elsewhere Adults Who Like Kids' Books. There is a beautiful sincerity and straightforwardness in Morpurgo's style which makes for meditative, surprisingly profound reading.

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