H first started reading Michael Morpurgo books at school. Then last year we went to the Isles of Scilly with my mother. My mum is a big Michael Morpurgo fan and has read many of his books and seen War Horse at the theatre. I hadn’t realised that a lot of his books were set on the Isles of Scilly , but my mum had and she’d brought some of them with her. It was the perfect reading for the holiday. It got me interested in reading his books and deepened a love of his books in my son and my mother. After that trip we’ve read a number of his books (in fact my mum seems to have a near complete collection that she is often to be found lending out to grandchildren).
Many of Michael Morpurgo’s books are about animals and I’ve been surprised at the range of animal characters in his book and the way they come alive off the page as you read. As we’ve teamed up with Micheal Morpurgo (How good does that sound?!) for a blog tour about his animal books, it wasn’t surprising that H wanted to ask the author a question about his animal characters. H’s question (well it’s sort of two questions, but they are connected) was: Where do the inspirations for your characters come from?So many of your books are about animals, have you always loved animals?
Michael’s Answer was: The secret to being a writer is to live, and by doing so you will encounter many people and hear other stories that inspire you to write. I’m 74 now and have lived a lot of life and continue to be inspired by people I meet and places I visit. My wife and I have always had pets, and then when we started our charity Farms For City Children 40 years ago, we then looked after cows and sheep and other farm animals so they have been a part of our lives for a long time now.
So which of Michael’s animal books did we choose to read together? Well there was one book on the list that leapt out at us. There’s a clue here in H’s T Shirt. Can you guess what the book might be about? This was one of H’s favourite tees for a few years and we brought it back from Barcelona with us, so it’s a Spanish bull on it and it uses the Spanish word for bull: toro. The book is called Toro! Toro! and it’s a story of a boy and the bull that he helps rear by feeding milk to it. They form a close bond and their story is set across a backdrop of the Spanish Civil War and the Spanish tradition of bullfighting. I don’t want to give the story away, but it’s a great read and perfect for either reading together or independent reading. It’s recommended for 9 plus and whilst it’s not difficult to read, it covers some challenging themes so it’s best left for slightly older children. The characters really come to life especially Antonito and his friend Paco the bull.
I have a signed copy of Toro! Toro! to give away to readers. Enter via the Gleam widget below.
Competition Terms and Conditions
1. No bulk, third-party or automated entries.
2. Entrants must be aged 18 years or older.
3. The winners will be chosen by a random draw.
4. The winner will be notified by email and will have a week to claim their prize. Should they fail to respond within this time, an alternative winner will be selected.
5. Promoter is responsible for fulfilling the prize and full contact details of the winner will be passed onto the promoter.
6. Competition closes on 5th November 2017.