War Horse

September 25, 2011

Michael Morpurgo is a prolific and well-loved English writer of children’s literature. A number of his more than 120 cherished stories have been adapted for television, theatre and even opera and ballet. The beloved War Horse, first published in 1982, has recently been enjoying enormous success as a stage play in the West End of London and on Broadway in New York City.  Steven Spielberg has been working with Morpurgo to share the story on an even larger scale – his movie version will be released during the Christmas holidays this year. By all accounts it’s going to be a winner.

Our family had an opportunity to attend one of the theatre productions and we were all bewitched. The story is a classic heart-wrencher:  love, loss, pain, hope and reunion. Remarkable puppetry is used to portray the horses and must be seen to be believed – incredible! If you have an opportunity to attend one of the big shows or a travelling version, gallop, don’t trot, and get yourself a ticket. Here’s a quick glimpse though the clips really don’t convey the realism adequately:

We’ll be looking forward to the movie version as well. The trailer has recently been released:

It really is worth becoming familiar with Michael Morpurgo, the writer, himself. He receives accolades for his award-winning writing but is also a keen educator and philanthropist. I’m personally enthralled with the Farms for City Children project he and his wife masterminded and generously support. This endeavour allows urban children to experience the wonders of the rural world: “Over the years the formula has changed very little. Simply, children are involved in everything necessary to keep the farms going. They learn hands-on where their food comes from, the importance of caring for animals and the land, and the value of working co-operatively as a team. The rewards are, unusually, non-material and self-generated: children discover an active enjoyment in life and a sense of achievement, the effects of which remain with them long after they have waved the farms goodbye.” 

I hope as the weather cools you’ll find some cozy reading time and can enjoy some of Michael Morpurgo’s stories – he is a wonderful storyteller and his books shouldn’t be limited to children’s bedside tables – add a few to yours. I’m sure you’ll be delighted you did.

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