Book review: Wherever My Wellies Take Me by Michael and Clare Morpurgo

Where My Wellies Take Me is a collection of favourite poetry chosen by former children’s laureate Michael and Clare Morpurgo. Woven around the poetry selection is the story of Pippa, who loves to stay with her Aunty Peggy in the Devon countryside. The book features illustrations from Olivia Lomenech Gill.

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I love all books by Morpurgo but this was is a particularly special one. First of all it’s beautifully illustrated and also a pleasant read for both children and parents. Its look and feel is the one of a home-made scrapbook which makes the book even more special and personalised. This format enables the readers to dip in and out of different sections of the book without necessarily reading it from the first page to the last chronologically.

It is a mix of both the story of Pippa (Michael Morpurgo’s wife Clare’s alias) and poetry from classic poets such as Ted Hughes and other ones.

Beautifully produced, the illustrations throughout the book capture the changing seasons and changing moods of the countryside in what becomes, overall, a glorious celebration.

Michael Morpurgo says of the book, “Where My Wellies Take Me is really Clare’s story. As a girl Clare would come down to Iddesleigh for her long summer holidays and stay with friends at the Duke of York pub in the village. She would spend her days wandering the lanes and fields of the remote Devon countryside and riding her favourite horse Captain. It was really Clare’s love of this remote and magical place which led Clare and I back to Devon in the 70s and to set up the charity Farms for City Children. It has been a place that has been an inspiration for many of my stories including War Horse, Farm Boy and Private Peaceful.”

Synopsis

Pippa loves staying with her Aunty Peggy. She loves going for walks, whether it’s sunshiney or cold – long, wandering walks where her wellies take her. Follow Pippa into the beautiful countryside as her day unfolds, and the wildlife, animals and people she encounters are complemented by relevant poems from some of our greatest authors, personally chosen by Clare and Michael Morpurgo. Part poetry anthology, part child’s scrapbook, this is a truly lavish project designed to instil a love of language in young children.

The book was published in September 2012 by Templar Company Limited as Hardback (97 pages) – ISBN 184877544X.

Book review.

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