It would be foolish to think that Michael Morpurgo, author of the award-winning When the Whales Came, could create something that would prove to be anything less than stunning and here, in Kensuke’s Kingdom, he certainly proves he has not lost his magic touch.
When Michael is washed up on an island in the Pacific after falling from his parent’s yacht, the Peggy Sue, he struggles to survive on his own. But he soon realises there is someone close by, someone who is watching over him and helping him to stay alive. After close-run battle between life and death after being stung by a poisonous jelly fish, the mysterious someone–Kensuke–allows Michael into his world and they become friends, teaching and learning from each other, until the day separation becomes inevitable.
Morpurgo here spins a yarn which gently captures the adventurous elements one would expect from a desert-island tale, but the real strength lies in the poignant and subtle observations of friendship, trust and, ultimately, humanity.
Beautifully illustrated by Michael Foreman, Kensuke’s Kingdom is a stylish, deceptively simple and utterly magical book that will effortlessly capture the heart and imagination of anyone who reads it, ensuring that Morpurgo continues to stand tall amid the ranks of classic children’s authors. (Age 9 and over) —Susan Harrison
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