Lisa Vegan's Reviews > The Pied Piper of Hamelin

The Pied Piper of Hamelin by Michael Morpurgo
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's review
Jun 08, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: childrens, fairy-folktales, fiction, orphaned-and-quasi-orphaned-kids, picture-books, reviewed
Recommended for: anyone who enjoys the Pied Piper tale; fans of beautifully illustrated picture books
Read on June 08, 2012

Awhile back, I read three picture books with the Pied Piper story and have another on my to-read shelf that I’ve been unable to obtain. I happened to see this book on the featured shelf at my branch library and grabbed it, not knowing what to expect, except that the cover appealed to me. The Pied Piper fable had a huge emotional impact on me when I was a child, and I really like the story.

This is a very text heavy picture book, so I’d say it’s for independent readers or reading aloud to school aged children, and possibly not in one sitting, although if time allows, reading the story all at once is the way to go.

This version of the story is told first person from the point of view of the young lame boy. I love his first impression of the Pied Piper as “wonderfully weird.”

So, I can’t give this book less than 4 stars. The pictures are remarkably good, I think. They’re intricately detailed and colorful and beautiful. They’re really special.

The story? Well, this one is different from any other Pied Piper tale I’ve ever read. It starts off darker than most versions, but ends up happier than any other version I’ve read. (view spoiler) This telling has a definite additional moral too; it’s incredibly message heavy, even as compared to the original. Somehow, I didn’t mind that because I loved the message(s), and the characters, but its deviation from the standard bothered me somewhat, so I deducted a half star or so. As a child, I’m sure I’d have considerably preferred this version to any of the others, and definitely to the one I had read to me when I was young.
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Lisa Vegan Chandra wrote: "This same author has a kid's version of Beowulf that I'm really interested in reading."

Well, expect major changes, but it might be great.

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