The Pied Piper of Hamelin by Michael Morpurgo

The Pied Piper of Hamelin

Written by Michael Morpurgo
Illustrated by Emma Chichester Clark

7+ readers   5+ readers   
Download an extract Add to wishlist Share this book

The Lovereading4Kids comment

Award-winning former Children’s Laureate Michael Morpurgo is an excellent storyteller and here he is at his best. Seen through the eyes of two children, he captures the greed of the wealthy, the abject poverty of the poor and the terrible grief of all when the Pied Piper leads away the children. Retold in a simple and compelling style this is a lovely book to read aloud or alone. Emma Chichester Clark’s beautiful illustrations add delicate details to the text bringing it alive for all ages.


The Pied Piper of Hamelin by Michael Morpurgo

This is a spell-binding modern retelling of a classic children's tale, a compelling new take on this timeless story by master storyteller and former children's laureate Michael Morpurgo, with glorious illustrations by Emma Chichester Clark. In the town of Hamelin, the rich and greedy live like kings and queens while the poor and sick scavenge rubbish tips for scraps. A lame orphan boy tells the classic tale of how a plague of rats take over the town and how a fantastic piper offers to rid Hamelin of its rats for a single gold coin, then lures away the town's children when the greedy mayor breaks his word.

Michael Morpurgo’s retelling of the classic Browning poem couldn’t come at a more appropriate time in the aftermath of the riots by young people in London and other UK cities in August 2011. Michael Morpurgo says, “We are failing our young people who feel they are living without hope, without jobs and or a sense of a future.” Michael has skillfully woven contemporary social and environmental themes into his story.


'Morpurgo is such a gifted storyteller that he manages to deliver the underlying darkness of this old fable with contemporary relevance.. A book to pass through the generations.' Daily Mail

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.

More books by this author

Other Formats

Book Info


112 pages
Interest Age: From 7


Michael Morpurgo
More books by Michael Morpurgo

Author's Website


Publication date

4th August 2016




You give me age appropriate ideas of books I can read and buy for the children and find out what other children their age think of them too.

Katie Lonsdale

It is THE website to use for narrowing down your search for any book. Definitely knocks the socks off any other book review website.

Nickey and Tomasz Hawryszczuk

I love lovereading4kids because I’ve read amazing books I would never have picked up, and its opened doors to new genre’s I now love.

Harriet Cunningham

I love Lovereading as it provides an honest opinion and showcases a range of fiction. Suited to both parents & kids alike, it’s a must-use.

Georgie Rowe – age 16

I think Lovereading4kids is an amazing company because of the friendly staff and the fabulous chance to read great books before publication.

Adam Graham

This company is amazing; not only is it is a great opportunity to get books and review them but everyone is so friendly and supportive!

Jemma Rubens, age 10

I love ‘LoveReading 4 kids’ because they let you read and learn things you’d never dreamed of learning before.

Emily Horncastle – age 11

I love finding new books to read. My mummy and me look at the new ones coming out. I have written reviews of some of them!

Jessica Cobbin – age 7

Lovereading 4 schools