Where My Wellies Take Me

Overview

A lavish, keepsake collection of poetry, beautiful artwork, and unforgettable treasures from acclaimed children’s book author Michael Morpurgo, woven around a girl’s adventures on a countryside walk.

Pippa loves staying with her Aunty Peggy. She loves going for walks, whether it is sunny 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 ...

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Overview

A lavish, keepsake collection of poetry, beautiful artwork, and unforgettable treasures from acclaimed children’s book author Michael Morpurgo, woven around a girl’s adventures on a countryside walk.

Pippa loves staying with her Aunty Peggy. She loves going for walks, whether it is sunny 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 children’s scrapbook, this is a truly lavish project designed to instill a love of language in young children.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The pages of this expansive anthology from War Horse author Michael Morpurgo and his wife, Clare, are crowded with memoir, sketches, and countryside poetry. An introduction explains that Clare was allowed to wander wherever she liked as a child in a Devon village. Lyrical journal entries based on Clare’s memories are written in the voice of an eight-year-old girl named Pippa: “A hare sits taller than a rabbit, stiller, and he’s browner. And when he runs, he goes, well... like a hare, jinking and weaving, till he weaves himself into the long grass and he’s gone.” Debut artist Gill’s closely observed drawings of wildlife, farmers, and landscapes tinted in gentle, rained-out colors join hand-lettered sections of prose. Gatefolds, transparent overlays, and photos of pressed flowers add to the sense of a collection of fragments; it’s like a box of treasures kept by a child underneath the bed. The poetry includes a wealth of high-order selections from British poets like John Clare, Norman MacCaig, and Ted Hughes. Anglophiles will be eager to share this bit of British countryside with children they know. Ages 6–9. (Aug.)
From the Publisher
[A] beautiful volume celebrating nature and verse in its most splendid quietude.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Charming... Those who remember lazy days spent picking dandelions and hunting crawdads may close the cover with the urge to knock the mud off their boots.
—The Chicago Tribune

Children's Literature - Jean Boreen
This beautifully designed and illustrated text combines the best of childhood with a selection of poems that highlight the joys of youth and time spent in nature. Based on the authors’ childhoods, the focus of the story is on Pippa, whose journey around the “lanes of Devon” allows her to create a scrapbook that highlights her experiences and serves as a safe place for some of the items she finds. One to two poems per two-page section align with what Pippa sees. For example, when she is at Farmer Yellands’ place, surveying the cow pasture, the poem “Fetching Cows” by Norman MacCaig is feature. A later section focused on a man working his fields highlights the poem “Digging” by Seamus Heaney. The scrapbook design—with folded sections that open to show yet another poem or a picture—as well as the illustrations found throughout beautifully support Pippa’s story and her experiences. Younger readers will enjoy having this read to them, and this may be especially necessary since the cursive that Pippa “writes” in may be difficult for youngsters to interpret. Older readers will surely be inspired to find out more about the English countryside. Another benefit to this book is that all proceeds go to the author’s charity “Farms for City Children.” Thus far, the charity has enabled 100,000 city children to spend a week at a farm. Reviewer: Jean Boreen, Ph.D.; Ages 8 to 14.
School Library Journal
09/01/2013
Gr 3–6—This illustrated, journal-style story is comprised of Pippa's observations as she takes a walk around a small English village. Her handwritten notes are enhanced by poems and illustrations of the places, people, and animals she sees; as the youngster sets off, the accompanying poem by John Masefield, "Tewkesbury Road," appropriately begins, "It is good to be out on the road,/and going one knows not where…." Christina Rossetti, Ted Hughes, Walter de la Mare, and Robert Browning are among the other poets included. The child is a keen observer and explorer and shares important knowledge she has learned, like how to walk through a field of cows without disturbing them. On foot and on horseback, she records her encounters with spiders and chickens, a fisherman, and a farmer on a tractor. The verses have been placed to complement Pippa's musings, and this combination makes for a lovely one-on-one read-aloud or an unintimidating introduction to poetry. The book has the look of a nature journal/scrapbook, with layered, collagelike illustrations, primarily in browns and grays, on every page. Pippa's notes are written in cursive throughout, which may prove challenging to younger readers. This lovely, unusual book might not immediately find a broad audience, but with help, the right readers will appreciate it.—Marian McLeod, Darien Library, CT
Kirkus Reviews
With a keen and sensitive eye, a young English girl explores the Devon countryside. A scrapbook is the perfect design element for the tale, as Pippa, on a visit to her aunt, shares her favorite pastimes: walking, horseback riding and poetry. Her first-person narration is on notebook paper in cursive writing, while the poetry selections are in old-fashioned Times New Roman. These range from traditional rhymes to a medley of English-language poets writing about cows, lambs and meadow mice, among other topics. Ted Hughes, William Butler Yeats, Rudyard Kipling, Walter de la Mare and John Tams, who wrote the songs for the stage production of War Horse, are among the poets represented. A festive and traditional May Day celebration concludes the day's activities for Pippa. Gill's mixed-media artwork features delicately nuanced paintings and sketches of local animals, trees and flowers, allowing readers to see them in close-up detail through Pippa's eyes, along with the old churches, villages and fields that she slowly passes. Occasional flaps, gatefolds and transparent pages enhance the striking presentation. This is a first collaboration for the former English children's laureate and his wife; all royalties benefit their charity, Farms for City Children. "And all shall behold the seasons unfold" in this beautiful volume celebrating nature and verse in its most splendid quietude. (afterword, poetry index) (Poetry/fiction. 8-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763666293
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 8/27/2013
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 110
  • Sales rank: 800,983
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.70 (w) x 10.20 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Morpurgo is one of the U.K.’s best-loved authors and a former Children’s Laureate. He has written over 120 books for children, including Kensuke’s Kingdom and War Horse. His wife, Clare Morpurgo, is the daughter of Allen Lane, founder of Penguin Books. They have three children and seven grandchildren. Michael and Clare live in Devon, England.

Olivia Lomenech Gill is a fine artist who has exhibited her work across the world. Where My Wellies Take Me is her first work as an illustrator. She lives in Northumberland, England.

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