Review forst appeared online August 2016 – now republished here.
Title: The Pied Piper of Hamelin
Author: Michael Morpurgo
Illustrator: Emma Chichester Clark
Publisher: Walker Books
Genre: Children’s fiction, Classic – Fairy tale/Folk tale
Book format: Paperback
Description: The fable of the mysterious piper who comes to Hamelin to rid the town of rats is one of the world’s best-loved stories. Retold by master storyteller Michael Morpurgo and illustrated by award-winning artist Emma Chichester Clark, this is a compelling and beautiful modern version of the classic tale.
*Free copy provided by publisher for review…
Review: When the town of Hamelin becomes infested with large and dangerous rats, the townsfolk employ the ‘thief dogs’ or homeless street kids to get rid of them. But with the rats increasing in population and ferocity even they cannot control them anymore. With the Mayor and his councillors at a loss of what to do a strange man ‘The Pied Piper’ appears.
I’ll be honest and say that I really don’t know the original tale of ‘The Pied Piper’ very well, I read it as a child but couldn’t remember the story so I was excited when Walker books offered me the chance to read and review this book. The story is told from the point of view of a poor lame boy who the Pied Piper picks later to send a message. I don’t want to give away the story to those people who, like me, haven’t read the story or have forgotten it but it’s a classic tale with a lovely message and a good ending.
The book is well written and set out well. It’s a touch smaller than A5 in size but has glossy pages with both text and pictures. The illustrations are all in the style like the one on the front cover. The text is easy to read and aimed at 5-7 year olds but I’m sure many different ages will enjoy reading this classic tale. It’s written in modern language and despite being a very different story to ones that are written today, children can understand and even relate to the themes in this book.
Although classic tales are always fun to read I really like this book due to its pictures. Every other page will have a colourful image and often the text and illustrations are along side each other. Even on the pages with only text there are still pretty borders on the sides and fun little rats near the page numbers. A great book with a great ending.
Do you like this book? What about other classic stories? Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂