“Instead of rubbish tips I want to see parks where all the children can play, and schools where all the children can learn. I want to see fairness and kindness. I want to see the happiness that only fairness and kindness can bring. Only when I know that Hamelin is a fit place for children to grow up, can the children go home again.”
Do you recognise this from The Pied Piper of Hamlin? As an added bonus this retelling is by master story teller Michael Morpurgo with joyous illustrations by Emma Chichester Clark. I have adored Emma Chichester Clark ever since I met her work in the Blue Kangaroo series so when I spied this new book at the IBBY Congress I knew it had to join my growing pile of purchases.
To quote from one reviewer :
(This versions is) a nuanced and substantial retelling of the well-known morality tale; young readers can identify with the resourceful narrator, and adults may find relevance, given current economic woes.
If you are new to this timeless story or if you just need to update your own worn copy this new version would be the perfect choice. We have a number of interesting versions of the Pied Piper in our school library including a simple reader style retelling from the Leapfrog series, a fun version by Tony Ross, a spoof called The fried Piper of Hamstring and as a contrast a version illustrated by Drahos Zak.
I had forgotten the ending which is so satisfying. Stories like this are an important part of our western culture. Look for this version in your library.