The Williamson Art Gallery and Museum, Slatey Rd, Birkenhead, CH43 4UE
As part of the Wilfred Owen Commemoration 2018, the Williamson Art Gallery and Museum will be hosting An afternoon in conversation with Michael Morpurgo and Frank Field MP. Michael and Frank will discuss War Horse, all things Wilfred Owen.
Morpurgo has a gift for magical storytelling, and his books also often tackle social issues. Out of the Ashes (2001), for example, is about the foot and mouth crisis. His most popular books include War Horse (1982), which was runner-up for the Whitbread Children's Book Award in 1982 and became an enormous success onstage and on screen; 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), which was 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 recent publications include A Medal for Leroy (2012), Half a Man (2014) and An Eagle in the Snow (2016).