Michaela Morgan Children's Author and Poet

Book reviews

Scroll down for reviews on a range of titles.

Walter Tull's Scrapbook by Michaela Morgan.Walter Tull's Scrapbook

"This is an outstanding piece of work in which Michaela has encapsulated the life of an often forgotten man. She will grab the attention of our younger generations, and hopefully compel them to achieve greatness in their lives too."
Clarke Carlisle, Chairman of the Professional Footballers Association
“There is a great need in primary schools for information about strong black role models and Walter fits the bill on so many levels... this is probably the most accessible [book on the subject] for the young reader... A very good addition to the school library.”
Margaret Pemberton, The School Librarian.
“Using a scrapbook style of words, pictures and photographs, we follow his progression to adulthood. He signed up in 1909 [to Tottenham Hotspurs] becoming the first ever black professional player. When the 1st World War started he joined up immediately to the 'Footballers' Battalion'.
He saw action in the bloodiest of battles and was offered a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in 1916. He became the first black officer in the British Army, dying in the war aged 29. A poignant, well written and illustrated book stands as a tribute to a special person worthy of remembrance.”
Anne Munro, Carousel
"As we approach the centenary of the outbreak of World War I, many schools will face the dilemma of how to translate the scale of casualties into something meaningful for young children. Focussing on an individual is one solution, and it would be hard to find a more remarkable hero than Walter Tull, the first black officer in the British Army.
Presented as an imaginary scrapbook, illustrated with artwork, photographs, maps and memorabilia, the device allows the story to be told through Tull’s own voice.  An inspiring account of courage and leadership.
Sue Unstead, Books for Keeps
"The officer’s story is told in a fictionalised scrapbook by Michaela Morgan, using actual photographs, documents and records.the story of Walter remains unnervingly relevant. But Walter wasn’t just a great footballer and British officer.
He happened to be black, at a time when the rulebook stated that only white men could become officers.In the media, in the terraces and on the pitch, racism and prejudice still mar the face of the beautiful game, week after week, year after year."
Northamptonshire Telegraph
“This is the inspiring story of a former Tottenham Hotspur footballer and war hero who faced adversity in both his careers. After his father died, Walter was brought up in a Hackney children’s home. After playing for some minor clubs he ended up as the first black outfield player in the English league. Even then, he was subjected to horrific racist chants in some grounds. The story is presented as a fictional scrapbook. His experiences seem very relevant in today’s era of multicultural premier division life.“
Irish Examiner
"It doesn’t pull its punches about the horrors of war but it does so in a responsible way. It also shows the camaraderie and the bravery of the troops – and their horses – under appalling conditions. I think any boy of 7+ who is interested in World War I would love this book. Highly recommended."
Historical Novel Society
"He was a courageous and inspirational leader - a black officer at a time when  the rule book stated that only white men could become officers. This book is based on his personal writings, photos and pictures and gives a fascinating insight into a man who broke across boundaries. In an age when we still find prejudice on and off the playing field, this book conveys an important message - one we must heed. The atmosphere of the First World War is vividly evoked and this book will complement studies of the period by giving a personal view of events."
“In personal jottings, photos and pictures, this scrapbook brings alive a man who lived outside the limitations of his age - from Walter's childhood in an orphanage through his footballing years at Spurs and Northampton to the Western Front, highlighting the Christmas Day Truce of 1914, Walter's officer training - pipe, moustache and all! - ending with his death on the Somme, his memorials and his legacy.”
Betty to the Rescue and Betty Solves a Mystery by Michaela Morgan.Betty to the Rescue
One of two books about a bumbling, irrepressible young hippo whose cheerful goal is to help. Here, noticing "a poor little monkey stuck in a tree'' she leaps from her wallow and barges off to get him down, equally oblivious to advice, to the other animals in her path, and the true nature of monkeys. And hippos.
Not until she has climbed the tree and can't get down does it dawn on Betty that she's the one who now needs help. Luckily the palm flips her back to her wallow, to the comic consternation of several flamingos.
Morgan's text bounces right along, propelled by colorful verbs. A frog Betty accidentally saves en route adds interest to both the plot and the gleeful, meticulously rendered art; he shows up again as a bemused bystander in a second book - Helpful Betty Solves a Mystery.
Kirkus Review


Happy Birthday Sausage!

Happy Birthday Sausage by Micheala Morgan.“A gentle, funny story that's sure to be a hit with readers, thanks to short chapters, an amusing plot and endearing illustrations.”
The Bookseller
"The Chameleons book range provides an ideal bridge between picture books and early readers, engaging children with well written and funny stories with eye-catching illustrations. This selection shines thanks to the language of the accomplished authors and the gentle humour that will appeal to youngsters."
Family Interest Magazine

Never shake a rattlesnake by Michaela MorganNever Shake a Rattlesnake!

"Delight in all the things you are NOT meant to do! “Don’t lend your hat and coat to a goat. Don’t try to dress a fox in a frilly bonnet and pink socks.” Toddlers will delight in the absurdity of the suggestions which are all posed in delightfully simple rhyme. Nick Sharratt’s illustrations capture brilliantly the madcap essence of the verses."
Julia Eccleshare


Night flight by Michalea Morgan

Night Flight
"This is a wonderfully evocative piece of writing that is both an increadibly emotional read but also an uplifting one to anyone who has ever experienced bullying or torment."
Julia Eccleshare
"This is a book for all ages, with an important and life-affirming message
for anyone who has ever suffered and been mentally scarred by
their experiences."
International Board on Books for Young People

“Danni is a refugee. He struggles in his new country: the language, the bullying, the nightmares. But, slowly, his damaged soul begins to heal. An enchanting, magical book.”
Letterbox Library

“Sensitive and robust, finely written and illustrated, this is an engaging tale about transcending life's grottiness.”

“Night Flight offers a touching and well-written insight into the life of a young boy adrift in a strange and often threatening world. Introducing the book to children in schools and libraries would be a good way of providing empathy with those who arrive on our shores with little or no  preparation and often deeply traumatised."

Books for Keeps.

“This sensitively written, poignant story rounds off with an unsentimental, realistically satisfying conclusion.”

Irish Examiner

Dear Bunny

Dear Bunny by Michaela Morgan“Two bunnies write letters back and forth, both thinking the other is not interested until a mouse family secretly unites them. This book is cute, cute, cute! My daughter asks for me to read it almost daily.”
Melissa Elder (OC, Ca)

“I thought this was an adorable book. As I was reading it, I kept thinking
what a wonderful book this would be for Valentine's Day.” A unanimous five-star rating!
Charlotte M. Barnes

“Dear Bunny" received the most positive reaction of ANY book I have ever read to kindergarten! A mushy love story!

“The children ooh-ed and ah-ed, they said oh-no to the story, they were delighted with the ending. Again, I repeat, "Dear Bunny" has been their very favorite book. It shows that children love variety and appreciate the most basic of human emotions: love!”

Judy K. Polhemus "Book Collector" (LA)


Respect! by Michaela Morgan"A story of heroism, war ...and football."
Finalist for the Birmingham Libraries Book Award.

“A fantastic book. Really moving and interesting. One of the few books I really like!”
Joshua (aged 13).

“A great easy read. I have read it twice! It is a book you can't put down.”
Matthew. KS3
“This is the most AMAZING true story. Everybody should be made to read this as it makes you  feel very humble and grateful to those brave young men who died fighting in the First World War. The book is very short and simple to read which means anybody could read it. The style is very straightforward because I believe the author wants to reach as many people as she can. Tully was a truly remarkable man – please read about him and think about all he achieved.”
Birmingham Librarian.|
Bunny Wishes
Bunny Wishes by Michaela Morgan.Bunny Wishes by Michaela Morgan and illustrated by Caroline Jayne Church  is a richly worded tale of two bunnies who pin wish lists to a hollow log. The wind whooshes the papers onto the heads of baby mice who nibble and chomp and chew the notes into all sorts of winter toys. A fun romp kids will want to share more than once.
Los Angeles Libraries.

Copyright Michaela Morgan 2011. All rights reserved by Michaela, her publishers or illustrators.