Reader Reviewed Little Manfred by Michael Morpurgo

Little Manfred

Written by Michael Morpurgo

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Award-winning author and illustrator duo Michael Morpurgo and Michael Foreman have created a touching story about the way lives become entangled during conflict and how, unexpectedly, those ties can lead to enduring friendship. When Alex and her little brother Charlie met two old men on the beach they hear the unusual story of how their friendship developed despite fighting on opposing sides and how their past links to their own mother’s childhood. ~ Julia Eccleshare

Reader Reviews

A small number of children were lucky enough to be invited to read and review Little ManfredClick Here to read the full reviews.

  • Alexander Bisland age 7 - 'I recommend this book to children 7+ along with other books by the author who writes really good books...I give this book 10 out of 10 stars!!'  
  • Ciara Pugsley, age 11 - 'I really enjoyed this book because it was full of adventure, really exciting and I always wanted to read on to find out what was going to happen next. I would give this book 10 out of 10.'  


Little Manfred by Michael Morpurgo

A heart-lifting, heartbreaking story by Michael Morpurgo.

In the Imperial War Museum is a wooden Dachshund, carved by a German prisoner of war for the children of the British family with which he stayed after the fighting ended. This is the story of how it got there...

When the Bismarck sinks, one of the only German survivors is taken on board a British ship as a prisoner of war. Sent to live with a host family, Walter must adapt to a new way of life, in the heart of an enemy country. Gradually, though, he finds a friend in ten-year-old Grace. So when the time finally comes to go back to Germany, it's an emotional parting, with Walter leaving Grace with only a carved wooden dog to remember him by. The question is, will Walter and Grace ever meet again? In 1966, with the World Cup coming to Britain, that opportunity may just have come along.


Nobody can balance old and new better, or more convincingly. - The Independent

[Morpurgo] really is a master at this sort of thing; not a word is wasted - The Telegraph

Morpurgo is a virtuoso at conjuring vibrant stories that draw on historical events. - The Observer Review

This is a very touching, absorbing story vividly bringing events to life. - Primary Times

This book is perfect for anybody who wants to find out about the Second World War and how it affected real people. - First News

About the Author

Michael Morpurgo

March 16 was Michael Morpurgo month on Lovereading4kids - click here to view the favourites we selected on themes of Legends, Animals, War and Journeys.

Michael Morpurgo, OBE, MBE, is one of the UK’s best-loved authors and storytellers. He was appointed Children’s Laureate in May 2003, a post he helped to set up with his friend Ted Hughes in 1999. He was awarded an OBE for services to Literature in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2007. He has written over 120 books, including Kensuke’s Kingdom which won the Children’s Book Award 2000 and was shortlisted for the Whitbread Children’s Book Award and the Carnegie Medal in 2000. His novel, Private Peaceful, a harrowing story about the First World War was published in Autumn 2003. It won the 2004 Red House Children’s Book Award and the Blue Peter Book Award in 2005. His novel Shadow about a boy from Afghanistan and the dog he befriends won the Red House Children’s Book Award, voted for by children.

Many of Michael’s books have been adapted for the stage. These include Private Peaceful, Kensuke’s Kingdom, Why the Whales Came and The Mozart Question, and most notably, the National Theatre’s production of War Horse which then moved to a theatre in central London. This production of Michael’s moving and powerful story of survival on the Western Front, which reached number one in the Observer’s top ten theatre performances and was also awarded the best design prize in the Evening Standard Theatre Awards. This production also played in New York where it was awarded five Tony Awards. In 2012 the film adaptation of War Horse, directed by Steven Spielberg, was a box office success.
Michael travels all over the UK and abroad talking to children and telling his stories and encouraging them to tell theirs.

In 1976, Michael and his wife, Clare, started the charity Farms for City Children. They help to run three farms around the country, in Gloucestershire, Pembrokeshire and North Devon. Each farm offers children and teachers from urban primary schools the chance to live and work in the countryside for a week, and gain hands-on experience. For more information about the work of Farms for City Children, please visit

Michael Morpurgo lives in Devon with his wife Clare. He has three children and seven grandchildren.

Michael Morpurgo was our Guest Editor in June 2010. Click here to see the books that inspired his writing, or scroll down to see books written by Michael.

Anthony Horowitz on Michael Morpurgo:

'Michael Morpurgo is the most solid, classical of children's authors. He sits outside the series-driven blockbusters so beloved of publishers nowadays: he hasn't created a Harry Potter or an Alex Rider – and I admire him for resisting that. We are opposite sides of the same coin and, although his work has never influenced mine, I admire the eloquent, considered voice of his best books. He has an unerring moral compass – his schoolteacher past has never quite left him – and books such as War Horse and The Butterfly Lion have a strong social concience and an honesty that makes them universal.' (The Guardian)

Why not CLICK HERE to take a peek at Michael’s 10 Rules for Writing.

or Click here to read a Q&A with the author.

You can also read about his life in a new biography, War Child to War Horse, to which he has contributed seven stories - click here to find out more.

Michael is the inaugural President of the Historical Writers Association starting from Autumn 2011, ( It was founded to bring social and professional support to writers of historical fiction and non-fiction, publishers, agents and booksellers, all bound both by their common interest in historical books and by the sense of community that comes from a shared obsession.

Since its creation, the Historical Writers' Association has launched a Festival of Historical Writing in association with English Heritage as part of their Festival of History at Kelmarsh in Northamptonshire.


March 2016 was Michael Morpurgo Month - a special month-long celebration of the varied and wonderful works of Michael Morpurgo as he celebrates his 70th year and also to mark the 40th anniversary of his and his wife’s Farms for City Children charity. Each week we featured a different selection of books under the themes of Journeys, War, Legends and Animals. We invited our readers to review many of the books that featured during Michael Morpurgo month - and you can download all their reviews here.

If you like Michael Morpurgo you might also like to read books by Robert Westall, Anne Fine, Sarah Lean and Celia Rees.

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Book Info


176 pages
Interest Age: From 7


Michael Morpurgo
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HarperCollins Children's Books an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

Publication date

3rd January 2013




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