Singing for Mrs. Pettigrew: Stories and Essays from a Writing Life
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Singing for Mrs. Pettigrew: Stories and Essays from a Writing Life

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4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  176 ratings  ·  35 reviews
One of today’s greatest storytellers explores the craft of writing in this collection of stories and essays by Michael Morpurgo.

Here is a literary journey that roams from the warmth of Provence in "Meeting Cézanne" to the war-torn town of "I Believe in Unicorns;" from the music-fi lled streets of Venice in "The Mozart Question" to the quiet English marshes of Michael Morpu...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published October 27th 2009 by Candlewick Press (first published September 4th 2006)
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Manda
This book is supposed to be an autobiography with helpful writing hints, but in my opinion it isn't much of an autobiography (a quick internet search provides most of the fact that the book contains) and has very little information in it about writing.

It is however a lovely book, full of short stories linked by some background by Morpurgo, stories mostly based on things that Morpurgo did, or areas he visited. There is a change in font size to show the difference between Morpurgo's commentary and...more
Jane
Wonderful little gem of a book. A collection of short stories and essays which Michael Morpurgo wrote when he was the Children's Laureate including I Believe in Unicorns and the brilliant Mozart Question. I read it all in one day but it is also a book which you could dip into. Made me want to go back and read all his great stories again and gave me lots of ideas for new ones too. Just brilliant!
Anne Hamilton
This is a book I have the utmost difficulty in returning to my local library. It’s tempting for it to mysteriously disappear, MIA, on my own bookshelves. *sigh* I guess I’m just going to have to find a copy somewhere to buy…

It’s a collection of Michael Morpurgo’s short stories, many of which I had read before. However the prose interspersions which reflect on the writer’s craft, inspiration and life are, for me, even better. The ‘stories about the stories’ are enriching, enhancing and thoroughl...more
Camila
This book was a great book! It is not like an other chapter book, because this one has little stories inside of it. Not only that but at the end of every story the author, Michael Morpurgo, also writes a little bit about him, how the story came to be and/or what inspired him. I liked all of his stories, but one of my favorites was the Mozart Question. The Mozart Question was about a boy who's parents used to play the violin in the concentration camps' orchestra. Whenever the Jewish people would...more
Derek
This is a compilation of many short stories in a chapter book. Between each of the short stories Michael Morpurgo, tells a little about himself, particularly of when he was a young child.

He also tells of the places and events that have inspired him and what he thought writing a book or anything is all about.

One of my favorite stories out of them all must have been The Mozart Question. The Mozart Question is basically about this little boy whose parents used to play in concentration camps. They...more
Victoriasaravia
I liked this book a lot! The book was interesting itself because it had a bunch of little stories in on chapter book. It had short stories and at the end of one short story the author, Michael Morpurgo, would tell you a little about himself when he was a little boy. He would also tell you what inspired him and what he thought writing a book or anything is all about. One of my favorite stories out of them all must have been The Mozart Question. The Mozart Question is basically about this little b...more
Michele Velthuizen
Interest level: 6th +
Reading level: medium
Genre: autobiography, short stories, fiction, adventure


This is very much a collection of short stories as well as an autobiography of Michael Morpurgo, author of some of my favorite books such as "Private Peaceful", "The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips", "Kensuke's Kingdom", "War Horse" and, more recently, "Alone on the Wide, Wide, Sea".

Although an autobiography, the book reads like a novel - even the parts that Morpurgo writes about himself. He uses two...more
Shirley
Michael Morpurgo alternates short stories with short essays that describe the people and the events in his life that have inspired his writing. Readers will benefit more from the essays by having read the author's novels.

My favorite story was The Silver Swan because it relates man's connection with nature. It is a story of love and loss. The potential for rebirth of love in relationships after loss allows the story to end with an element of hope.

My favorite quote came from the essay that prece...more
Patrick Gralton
My first book review is on 'Singing for Mrs. Pettigrew' by Michael Morpurgo.

In this book the author seeks to illuminate for the reader how he became the writer he is.
He tells us about his influences, both in living his life and by books and authors he has read.

Every short story in the book is preceded by a recollection from the author's life,explaining his journey as a person and how it is manifested in the stories he tells - this point is explored further when he talks about his 'characters...more
Fariza
This is an interesting book contains a few short stories and the writers own experience. Michael Morpurgo for me does have a broad view about the world and his stories do touch my heart. His stories creates tears, creates fear, make me laugh and do have the soul in it. He writes the stories with simple words but it is written beautifully and smart.




Few stories that really stick in my head are The Giant’s Necklace; I believe in Unicorns; The Mozart question; and many more.




The best part of his boo...more
Nesa Sivagnanam
In his introduction, Morpurgo tells readers, 'I am a grower of stories. I farm them as surely as a farmer does his wheat' and offers his book as 'the story of this writer's story-making journey.'

The first of the short stories, Meeting Cézanne, tells of a boy named Yannick spending time with family in Provence, of his attraction to his beautiful cousin Amandine, and of meeting a great artist. The next, The Giant's Necklace, is a ghost story that delves into history. I Believe In Unicorns celebra...more
Carrie
A beautiful little book. This is a collection of short stories and essays about writing and inspiration. Morpurgo writes with a gentle voice which is why he is considered a children's writer but his topics are thought provoking and often serious. I definitely want to read some of his other works.

Some of my favourite stories in this collection were "Meeting Cezanne," "I believe in Unicorns" and "The Mozart Question," and I was moved to tears with "For Carlos, a Letter from Your Father." The title...more
Aruna Kumar Gadepalli
A very interesting story collection. For several stories there is introduction by the author. Though the book will be suitable to the middle school level to enjoy the book more, I am sure though who enjoy good stories like this book as well. One can take the journey though - War, human relationships and the a writer's world, so go for this.
Most touching story - "The Mozart Question".
Michelle
I adore this author! Where have I been that I never heard of him till now? Here is a collection of short stories with an author discussion between each one. He shares background and creative advice on story writing that is very simple and endearing. I love his story endings!

Each story makes you think deeply and feel strongly, yet they aren't opinionated at all. Every character is as alive as you or me. You want to meet them, have tea with them, and go visit on your break because they feel like s...more
Leanne Hunt
Although I am not usually a fan of short stories, this collection held my attention from beginning to end. It contains reflections by the author which explain his motive for writing, how he gathers his ideas, and what he hopes to achieve through storytelling. Certainly, he has an amazing gift and can create pictures with words in a way that is both memorable and moving.
Hilary Ma
I think this book is really good, because there are collection of different stories that's really interesting, and there is a reflection at the every end of the stories. My favourite story is 'The Giant's Necklace, because is pretty mysterious, I also like 'The Mozart Question', it's about how a musician's mother and father's live had gone.
Charlotte
A very treasured copy! Signed by the Author when i met Michael Morpurgo at my hometown book Fair.

This is one of my favourite Morpurgo books and I love this edition. The cover is amazing.

The short stories throughout are brilliantly written and quite moving.

Not Just a book for children, adults can easily enjoy this too.
Peter
Apr 07, 2010 Peter rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Any one who is into writing.
This is a great book for anyone who loves to write. Although he may not be your style (he wasn't exactly mine), Michael takes you on an inspiring journey.
Jumping from his own personal stories and the stories he has created, Singing for Mrs. Pettigrew is an entertaining insight into an authors' experiences.
Tina Bembry
I loved this book. It wove seamlessly between the author's reflections and his stories. All with a depth of feeling, joy for life, and recognition of difficult passages even children go through. I am ready to read more of his stories, and was encouraged in writing by his thoughts. Lovely, simple, profound.
Ezekel Alan
A charming little book. The stories are not exceptional, but it is interesting to read the in-between chapters where the story-teller talks about his journey and inspirations. I liked some of these sections much more than the actual short stories, though I found some of those very well done.
Eileen
Sep 20, 2007 Eileen rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: especially writers
This is the kind of book that cozily invites you in and embraces you. The short stories are beautiful, and the alternating chapters where Morpugo describes how he arrive at the stories are as inspiring as Rilke. Perfect rainy day company along with a blanket and a cup of tea.
Cboettner Boettner
The stories are touching and will reach deep feelings as soon as one starts reading them. The best are the chapters where Michael Morpurgo shares his life as a writer and how he changed his style as he got older.
Alana-jane
With each individual piece in this book you see similarities between all characters. You are able to relate and quickly find yourself reeled in on an emotional roller coster right next to the characters.
Ezamoosh
I found this really interesting, learning about Michael Morpurgo and not just the fantasy stories he creates. It's nice to almost get to know him, and I really enjoyed reading this!
Shekouvillage
likes Michael Morpurgo's stories.
very lovely stories.....

"I believe in Unicorns" :...stories make you think and dream; books make you want to ask questions.
Katie Day
Alternating texts -- one autobiographical, one fictional but related -- from Michael Morpurgo, who reflects on the events and people that have made him a writer.
Annette
I found Michael Morpurgo late in life, but I am so glad I found him. Brings me right back to my childhood, the types of stories I loved to read.
Sarah
It was an OK book. I don't see how it's s'posed to be sad but still a good book to read. Simple, sweet, perculiar in parts
Allison
Feb 19, 2012 Allison marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I just looked this up in order to keep pestering Maggie with smartass comments, but now I think it might actually be good.
NC
delightful book. Great insights into this author's life and writing. He is a great author.
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Michael Morpurgo is the author of many books for children, five of which have been made into films. He also writes his own screenplays and libretti for opera. Born in St Albans, Hertfordshire, in 1943, he was evacuated to Cumberland during the last years of the war, then returned to London, moving later to Essex. After a brief and unsuccessful spell in the army, he took up teaching and started to...more
More about Michael Morpurgo...
War Horse (War Horse, #1) Private Peaceful Kensuke's Kingdom The Butterfly Lion The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips

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