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Description

Kensuke is a catching book which is incredible. When Micheal gets tipped out of the Peggy Sue i felt absolutely shocked and worried as if i was Micheals's parents!

This book grabbed me and made me read it. From the second I opened the book to the moment that I finished it, I was gripped by the story and I genuinely cared about what was going to happen to the characters.


I felt that the way the book was written would be the way that I would tell a story therefore this alone kept my attention.


It starts as Michael (the main character) turns 11 and follows his family through redundancy, and life change. There are some major themes that are addressed in the story but they are not dwelled upon. This allows the reader to make their own mind about the issues and gives room for further discussion.


The main body of the story follows Michael, his mother and father and the family dog, Stella Artois train to sail, buy and then sail a boat called the Peggy Sue across the oceans and around the world.


One night whilst Michael is on watch on the Peggy Sue and his parents are below asleep, disaster strikes. “The lights of the Peggy Sue went away into the dark of the night, leaving me alone in the ocean, alone with the certainty that they were already too far away, that my cries for help could not possibly be heard. I thought then of the sharks cruising the black water beneath me - scenting me, already searching me out, homing in on me - and I knew there could be no hope. I would be eaten alive. Either that or I would drown slowly. Nothing could save me”.


Something did save Michael that night and he wakes up on a deserted island. Eventually he makes friends with an old Japanese man that is also stranded on the island and who rescued Michael the night he fell overboard. They become friends and they teach each other different skills over the time that they spend together.


The book addresses feelings and emotions that both Michael and Kensuke face which again offers more room for further discussion.

Of course there is a wonderfully happy ending, but I won’t tell you what happens. Once again themes can be further addressed.&nbsp



Michael Morpurgo’s Kensuke’s Kingdom is a book of two halves. The first is set as an adventure book chronicling the protagonist’s travels around the world with his family. It introduces the reading to geography with an excellent selection of maps and introduces new literacy styles for children such as journal entries and writing in the first person.


The second however becomes more complicated as the protagonist gets stranded on an island with only his dog. This part introduces children to more adult themes such as loss and tragedy as well as introducing children to more complicated vocabulary and techniques such as metaphors.


It is during this second half that the character of Kensuke is introduced. He is an old Japanese pilot during World War 2 who was stranded on the island and who lives there protecting a colony of Orang-utans from poachers. The language is highly descriptive but the use of illustration is still active in the story. The story teaches morals about manners, acceptance of other cultures and even to history and environmentalism. It discusses the Japanese language and subjects like Japanese art both subjects with cross-curricular potential.


The themes and ideas put forward by the book are universal and reach a broad age range. The writing style and illustration is aimed at those children who are being introduced to free reading and more advanced literary styles and the length of the book (160 pages) does not intimidate and put off young readers. Like most of the author’s books it emphasis’s the human side of the tale allowing for excellent characterisation which children will appreciate when looking at their own development. Ultimately the engaging nature of the story, the emotions it evokes, and the accessibility of the book will keep children interested and entertained whilst at the same time providing an excellent springboard to further education and literacy advancement.


Michael Morpurgo’s Kensuke’s Kingdom is a story based on the survival of a ten year old boy Michael after he is washed overboard whilst sailing around the world with his parents. The story is written in the first person from Michael’s perspective. The first part of the story chronicles Michael’s trip around the world visiting several different countries. Michael is then washed overboard from his family yacht whilst trying to rescue his pet dog Stella washing up on a desert island. He initially believes he is alone however after waking one morning to find someone has left food and water for him he sets out to find who this person is and meets the mysterious Kensuke, a Japanese soldier who has been on the island since the end of World War Two. The main feature from this point on in the story is the unlikely pair’s relationship, building from initial mistrust to a father/son relationship between the two characters.

Featuring powerful and realistic characters the book addresses key issues such as friendship, forgiveness, courage, reconciliation, man’s relationship with nature and the building of trust.

The book is good for children as it uses lots of descriptive language to set the scene and engage the reader in the story line. It also goes into great detail to use emotive language so the reader can understand how the main characters feel giving a real insight into the conflictive feelings Michael feels as he wrestles with his conscience about leaving Kensuke on the island but his desire to leave and see his family again. Kensuke’s Kingdom would be good for use in schools mainly in a key stage 2 class such as year 5 or 6 as the book features a wide range of literacy topics from writing in the first person perspective, extending vocabulary, the use of descriptive and emotive language as well as cross curricular topics such as giving an insight into Japanese culture, geography as it gives a brief description of many of the countries in the world that Michael visits before he is washed overboard, and history as the book also delves into issues towards the end of World War Two whilst explaining how Kensuke came to live on the island permanently.

Overall it is a book that will keep the reader interested and engaged the whole way through providing many good topics for children to think about.



Book Review

Michael Morpurgo – Kensuke’s Kingdom

Michael Morpurgo’s Kensuke’s Kingdom is a book of two halves. The first is set as an adventure book chronicling the protagonist’s travels around the world with his family. It introduces the reader to geography with an excellent selection of maps and introduces new literacy styles for children such as journal entries and writing in the first person.

	The second however becomes more complicated as the protagonist gets stranded on an island with only his dog. This part introduces children to more adult themes such as loss and despair as well as introducing children to more complicated vocabulary and literary devices such as metaphors.
It is during this second half that the character of Kensuke is introduced. He is an old Japanese pilot during World War 2 who was stranded on the island and who lives there protecting a colony of Orang-utans from poachers. The language is highly descriptive but the use of illustration is still active in the story. The story teaches morals about manners, acceptance of other cultures and even to history and environmentalism. It discusses the Japanese language and subjects like Japanese art both subjects with cross-curricular potential.

The themes and ideas put forward by the book are universal and reach a broad age range. The writing style and illustration is aimed at those children who are being introduced to free reading and more advanced literary styles and the length of the book (160 pages) does not intimidate young readers. It emphasis’s the human side of the tale allowing for excellent characterisation which children will appreciate when looking at their own development. Ultimately the engaging nature of the story, the emotions it evokes, and the accessibility of the book will keep children interested and entertained whilst at the same time providing an excellent springboard to further education and literacy advancement.

Reader's Reviews

Review of Kensuke's Kingdom, by Jennifer Godfrey

This invigorating, heart-warming story tells the tale of an unlikely friendship that develops under exceptional circumstances. When young Michael and his dog Stella fall overboard whilst attempting to sail around the world with his family, and are washed up on a deserted island, he can never imagine the adventure he has just begun. Each morning, as Michael begins to lose hope, he discovers a small bowl of food and water has been left out for him. Perhaps he is not as alone as he first thought. Although he does not initially realise it, he has entered the realm of Kensuke’s kingdom. This story tells the journey of two individuals from contrasting worlds, who, through adversity, develop a deep friendship. The wonderful illustrations by Michael Foreman and beautiful use of description throughout the book as young Michael recounts his adventures will captivate the minds of children, especially from 8-12 years old, allowing them to become immersed in the exciting world of Kensuke's Kingdom.



Kensuke's Kingdom Reviews by a year 6 Class:



Group A : Niamh, Patryk, Evelyn

Group A

Group A

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This touching story of Kensuke's Kingdom is an adventorouspage turner. Join Michael through his thrilling journey across the ocean with the companionship of his pet dog Stella. <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; line-height:normal"> His love for wildlife is shown through his story. Michael's boat takes a turn for the worse when he is stranded on a lost island but can the help of Kensuke keep him alive? <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; line-height:normal"> This emotive tale which Morpurgo has written will not disappoint you! <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; line-height:normal">   <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; line-height:normal">'

Group B: Mimi, Megan, Danielle'
Group B

Group B

Group C

Group C

Group D

Group D

GRoup E

Group E

Group F

Group F

  • Emotional Tale
  • Award winning author
  • Fantastic Friendship
  • "I am so pleased that this book is printed ontirely on paper certified by by the FSC, on
    Group G

    Group G

    e of only a small number of books to achieve this standard" Michael Morpurgo.
  • "A Dazzling tale" The Times
  • Inspiring and powerful
  • Wonderful book
  • We recommend to ages 9+ it is a great story and we really enjoyed it.

Group C: Emma, Esme, Katie, Leigh <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; line-height:normal"> Written by Michael Morpurgo poet laureat of 2003, Kensuke's Kingdom is a must have. <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; line-height:normal"> This stunning story begins when Michaels parents both lose their jobs and buy a yacht boat to sail around the world. All goes to plan until the boat leaves Australia. Life on the 'Peggy Sue' starts to fall apart when Michael finds himself adrift, all alone with nowhere to go. <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; line-height:normal"> This book takes you on a wondrous journey with Michael and the man who's Kingdom it is. <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; line-height:normal">   <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; line-height:normal"> Group D :  Joshua, Andreas, William, Emily <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; line-height:normal"> Our group of 4 think that Kensuke's Kingdom is a 60% book. Michael Morpurgo is an exotic book writer and most of the worl love his books, however some people disagree. <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; line-height:normal"> Michael Morpurgo's book Kensuke's Kingdom is excellent compared to COOL! Another one of his famous books. Kensuke's Kingdom is about a boy called Michael and he has to move to the South. What is Michael going to do? <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; line-height:normal">   <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; line-height:normal"> Group E: Oliver, Joseph, Jessica, Hugo <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; line-height:normal"> From the award winning author of War Horse, and the prize winning book When the whales came. Michael Morpurgo's engaging adventure book Kensuke's Kingdom features young Michael who washes up on a long forgotten island, in the Pacific. Can Michael survive with nothing but his faithful companion Stella Artois? <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; line-height:normal"> With no food or drink - parched- he curls up into his cave, hoping it is a dream. He wakes up with food and water, will he ever be alone again... <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; line-height:normal"> "I heard the wind above me in the sails. I remember thinking, this is silly, you haven't got your safety harness on, you haven't got your life jacket on. You shouldn't be doing this... I was in the cold of the sea befroe I could even open my mouth to scream." <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; line-height:normal">   <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; line-height:normal"> Group F: Finley, Courtney, Mollie, Heshan <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; line-height:normal"> Kensuke's Kingdom is a world- known book by the well-known author Michael Morpurgo. <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; line-height:normal"> This book is recommended along with 'The wreck of Zanzibar'. <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; line-height:normal"> This book is about a young boy named Michael who sails around the worland gets stranded on an island with no food or water. What will he do? <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; line-height:normal"> 4/5 STARS! <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; line-height:normal">   <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; line-height:normal"> Group G: Frankie, Elena, Jamie, Dominic, Jamie <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; line-height:normal"> Michael Morpurgo is a famous author who wrote Kensuke's Kigndom. It is about a boy called Michael who falls into the sea and nearly dies. <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; line-height:normal">   <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; line-height:normal"> Group H: Dominico, Joseph, Jamie <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; line-height:normal"> Kensuke's Kingdom is about a boy called Michael. <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; line-height:normal"> Michael sometimes over-reacts and one time he goes too far and it costs him. Most people think it's exciting, creative, personal, terrific. <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; line-height:normal"> The book is mysterious every step you take. <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; line-height:normal"> This book is maybe not good for children age 0 - 9. <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; line-height:normal"> <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; line-height:normal"> <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; line-height:normal"> <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; line-height:normal"> <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; line-height:normal"> <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; line-height:normal"> <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; line-height:normal"> <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; line-height:normal"> <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; line-height:normal"> <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; line-height:normal"> <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; line-height:normal"> <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; line-height:normal"> <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; line-height:normal"> <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; line-height:normal">

Review of Michael Morpurgo's Kensuke's Kingdom

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<p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; line-height:normal">Michael Morpurgo is a well known children's author - famous for books such as War Horse - but also well he is known for being a former Children's Laureate.


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<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt;">His book Kensuke's Kingdom has been described as a modern day Robinson Crusoe, and has been enjoyed by primary age children across the country. It follows the story of Michael, a young boy who embarks on a journey around the world on the Peggy Sue - a yacht - with his parents and his dog: Stella Artois. Just as Michael is beginning to enjoy his voyage, disaster strikes when Michael and Stella Artois are thrown overboard by a ferocious storm, resulting in them being washed up on a desert island. Michael soon discovers that he and Stella are not alone on their island, they are in-fact sharing it with an old Japanese soldier named Kensuke. To begin with there are obvious communication issues between the two, but a mutual respect is eventually found, and the two begin to work together, teaching each other what they know. Kensuke ultimately realises that because of the feeling of loss he suffered from losing his own family in the war, he must help Michael find his family again.


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<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt;">Kensuke's Kingdom is a wonderful story of friendship and the bonds that people can form without even speaking the same language. It features beautiful illustrations to begin and end each chapter, and throughout chapter three - which is written in the form of a travel log by Michael. A thoroughly enjoyable tale for children and adults alike.


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