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Jemima the Pig and the 127 Acorns

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Early
Written by: Michael Morpurgo
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books

“You’re farmers for a week, so you’ll be busy. There’ll be no time to miss home. You’ll eat like kings and queens, sleep like logs, and you’ll hardly be out of your wellies, except in bed.”

When a young boy goes from the city to stay on the farm, he discovers a world he never knew existed – a world of vegetable gardens, ducks and geese, where the milking cows and the sheep graze in the fields, where the apples and pears grow in the orchard.

He also meets Jemima the pig: she smells and she slobbers, she breaks out of her pen to steal potatoes, and she’s the undisputed Queen of the farm.

Soon, he’s hiding acorns in his pockets to feed to her every time he sees her. But then, Jemima starts to feel ill. Could she have eaten too many acorns? Or does this Queen of a pig have a secret?

And now that the boy has grown up, and his daughter Amy is going to the farm, just like he did, what surprises will she find there…?

From Master Storyteller Michael Morpurgo, co-founder of the charity Farms for City Children, this charming story evokes all the wonder, muck and magic of a week on the farm – the hard work and the sad moments, alongside the startling jolts of joy that have inspired whole lifetimes. The first of many Farm Tales to come, it is a timeless window onto the working world of the countryside, and the way its landscape and animals can leave an impression on a child’s heart forever.

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    About the Author

    Michael Morpurgo

    Michael Morpurgo began writing stories in the early ’70’s, in response to the children in his class at the primary school where he taught in Kent. One of the UK’s best-loved authors and storytellers, Michael was appointed Children’s Laureate in 2003, a post he helped to set up with Ted Hughes in 1999. He was awarded an OBE in 2007 and a Knighthood in the New Year’s Honours in 2018 for services to literature and charity. He has written over 130 books, including The Butterfly Lion, Kensuke’s Kingdom, Why the Whales Came, The Mozart Question, Shadow, and War Horse, which was adapted for a hugely successful stage production by the National Theatre and then, in 2011, for a film directed by Steven Spielberg. His book, Private Peaceful was adapted for the stage by Simon Reade and a film, directed by Pat O’Connor. He has won numerous awards including those voted for by children themselves, the Blue Peter Book Award and the Children’s Book Award. His latest novel – When Fishes Flew: The Story of Elena’s War is being published by HarperCollins Children’s Books on 30 Sept.

    With his wife Clare, he set up the charity Farms for City Children, which offers children and teachers from inner-city primary schools the chance to live and work in the countryside for a week on one of the charity’s three farms in Devon, Gloucestershire and Wales. Over 100,000 children have visited the three farms run by the charity since it began in 1976. Teachers frequently comment that a child can learn more in a week on the farm than a year in the classroom. HRH The Princess Royal is Patron of the charity. The couple were awarded joint MBE’s for their work in education.

    Michael Morpurgo – Photo credit: Phil Crow

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