He describes himself as 'oldish, married with three children and a grandfather six times over'. We know him as the writer of over 100 books for children, multiple award-winner and former Children's Laureate. Come and hear Michael Morpurgo in his own words at the British Council on 27 January (in Colombo) and 28 January (in Kandy) at 6.00 pm.
Michael Morpurgo, is noted for his "magical storytelling", for recurring themes such as the triumph of an outsider, survival, and characters' relationships with nature, and for vivid settings such as the Cornish coast or World War I.
His most popular books include Why the Whales Came (1985), which was made into a film starring Helen Mirren; King of the Cloud Forests (1988), which won the Cercle D'Or Prix Sorciere (France); and My Friend Walter (1988) and Out of the Ashes (2001), which were both adapted for television. The Wreck of the Zanzibar (1995) won the 1995 Whitbread Children's Book Award.
The Butterfly Lion (1996) draws on the author's own unhappy experiences at boarding school, and is the story of a young boy who rescues an orphaned lion club from the African bush. It won the 1996 Nestlé Smarties Book Prize (Gold Award). Kensuke's Kingdom (1999) tells the tale of a boy who survives on an island after falling from his parents' yacht and learns how to survive with the help of the mysterious Kensuke. This book won the Children's Book Award in 2000. Private Peaceful (2003) is set during the first world war and telling the story of two brothers, Charlie and Tommo. It won the 2005 Red House Children's Book Award and the Blue Peter Book of the Year Award and was shortlisted for the 2004 Whitbread Children's Book Award.
In 2003 Michael Morpurgo became the third Children's Laureate, a scheme he had originally helped to set up with poet Ted Hughes. The Laureateship rewards a lifetime contribution to children's literature and highlights the importance of the role of children's books. Morpurgo firmly believes that 'literature comes before literacy' and wants all children '... to discover and rediscover the secret pleasure that is reading, and to begin to find their voice in their own writing ...'
He was awarded an OBE in 2006 for services to literature. His latest books are Kaspar (2008) and a play, The Voices of Children (2008) which explores the concept of childhood and how it has changed over the last thousand years.
Following the events at the British Councils in Colombo and Kandy, Michael Morpurgo will be a star attraction at the Galle Literary Festival on 30 and 31 January sponsored by the British Council.
For more details on Michael Morpurgo's programme in Sri Lanka please visit www.britishcouncil.org/srilanka-arts-and-culture-upcoming-events or contact 4521542