Saturday, February 18, 2017

The fox and the ghost King by Michael Morpurgo illustrated by Michael Foreman

I found this book The fox and the ghost King in our last brochure from Scholastic Book Club.  I wonder why they didn't make a bigger feature of it - this is quite an engrossing story and one that will appeal to young soccer fans.  It is a short book with wonderful illustrations by Michael Foreman and it would make a good family read-aloud.

Take a look at this football team logo - Leicester City F.C.  It has a fox in the centre and the nickname for this team is The Foxes.  They were founded in 1884 and by 2008 the were at their lowest ever position. "Then ... in August 2012, King Richard III was found under a Leicester car park, and a right royal turnaround in the Foxes' fortunes began..."

That in essence is the story of The fox and the ghost King.  Narrated by a little fox cub we read that this pair make night visits to watch their beloved team.  Once again Leicester have been defeated but on the way home everything changes.  Our narrator and his dad hear the buried king.  He asks them to dig around his body so the archaeologists working on the site will finally discover his burial ground. Naturally foxes are very good at digging. The rest, as they say, is history!  There is even a touch of Shakespeare woven into the story.

"By his play of Richard III, that vile villain made a  villain of me, a traitor, a murderer... that dastardly dramatist, that William Shakespeare."

Here is a six minute video of Michael Morpurgo reading his book.  At the back of the book you can read about Leicester City FC, King Richard III and "newspaper" article about the change in fortune for this popular team.  You can read a review here.

I was quite excited to discover the London Underground have a series of posters promoting books and one featured The fox and the ghost King."

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