news archive

Wonderland : Alice in Poetry
Published by Macmillan, edited by Michaela Morgan
A collection of all Lewis Carroll’s best loved poems with poems by contemporary poets in response. Poets include Michaela of course and John Agard, Joseph Coelho, Jan Dean, Roger McGough, Rachel Rooney, Jane Yolen and many many more…

Five Schools in One Day!
To celebrate 21 years of championing reading for pleasure and providing schools with quality learning resources and books Northamptonshire Schools Library Services invited 5 schools in to meet Michaela. Sponsored by Peters Library Services it was a day of cake and balloons, poetry and prose – and fun. Older children learnt about Northampton based footballer and World War One hero Walter Tull and younger ones made up performance and action poems. After this taster, many of the schools have since contacted Michaela so that she can spend a day with their whole school.

Brave Mouse
Now available in Complex Chinese

Edinburgh International Book Festival
Michaela presented ‘The Scrapbook of Walter Tull’ to an audience of adults and children aged from 8 to 13.
Here’s one of the younger members of the audience who bought a book and had it signed for himself, and for his granddad. Walter’s story bridges the generations.
Michaela poem features in TV Magic Hands programme
One of Michaela’s poems has been featured in CBBC TV’s new Magic Hands programme for young children with hearing impairment.
The poem is “The Big Surprise” and forms a large segment in the middle of the show. Each episode of Magic Hands features a poem which is fully signed, spoken and acted out to make it rewarding for the widest possible range of abilities.
Alternatively take a look at Series Editor Rupert Morgan’s video (in French of course!) to see the idea behind the new series and the importance of Michaela’s work to the success of the project.
Stathern comes up trumps

A parent’s Christmas present to Stathern Primary School in rural Leicestershire brought Michaela to work with the children for a day. Michaela had her day’s activities with the children paid for by the parental gift topped up with proceeds from the School’s Christmas Fair. Stathern Head Teacher Troy Jenkinson explained: “The parent was happy for the school to decide how the money was spent, and all the staff here wanted something that everyone in the school could access. Mrs Jackson, our Literacy Co-Ordinator, gave us a shortlist of 4 names and the staff decided on Michaela. It has been very democratic.”

Michaela worked with children of all ages at the school from KS1 to KS2 using her songs, poetry, fiction and non-fiction books. The day ended with a book signing featuring some of the 140 titles Michaela has written for children of all ages.“It’s very important that children develop a love of books and reading, and meet someone who is as influential as Michaela. Her profile as a writer was perfect for our children,” added Troy.

Uppingham Bookshop success! 
Michaela read two of her latest picture books to a packed room at Uppingham Sports and Books. In fact so many families with young children booked tickets that the event had to be moved from Sports and Books’ recently upgraded Children’s Department into a larger room.
Young children and their parents were entranced by Michaela’s spirited reading of Knock Knock Open the Door and Kitty Kool’s Beauty School, along with happy joining in and singing-along. Bookshop manager Pearl Dean and her two expert helpers – William and Elizabeth – then handed out goody bags to each of the children.
Rutland Radio also turned up for the event and Michaela was interviewed live on air by the station’s Rob Persani, who was hosted his show from the bookshop that day.
The event was a great success and will be the first of a number Pearl hopes to arrange in the future. Michaela extends her warm thanks to everyone who braved the snow to attend, and to Pearl and her staff for their excellent organisation. 
Boston West Academy was all dressed up!
Michaela enjoyed a warm welcome and enthusiastic children at Boston West Academy. She visited on Red Nose Day, and all children and teachers joined in the fun by dressing in their pyjamas. After a heart-warming and affirming day Michaela would like to thank all the staff and children, and particularly Sam Jackson for all his help.
Michaela’s poetry to feature on CBeebies
Michaela’s poem “A Big Surprise” will appear on CBeebies, as part of the Magic Hands programme aimed at hearing impaired children. Remark, the specialist production company producing the show, has confirmed that CBeebies has commissioned 30 five minutes episodes for pre-school children using poems and dramas in British Sign Language.
Oundle Festival of Literature
Michaela enjoyed a thronged day at the Oundle Festival of Literature, where she performed Kitty Kool’s Beauty School and Knock Knock Open the Door to packed audiences. As well as filling the Great Hall at Oundle School with four schools, Michaela also fitted in a second session at Oundle CE Primary School in the afternoon. Heavy book sales at both venues had Michaela suffering from writer’s cramp from signing books. Michaela’s thanks go to Helen Shair of the festival, and to the enthusiastic pupils and teachers of all the schools involved.
Two brilliant days at Somers Park Primary
Michaela spent two days with the children of Somers Park Primary in Malvern as part of the Ledbury Poetry Festival. Working with Reception, Year One and Year Two pupils she introduced the children to poetry and performance using Knock Knock Open the Door along with the Fish in the Sea and other songs and poems – a real favourite among younger classes.
Knock Knock Open the Door launches in Brighton
Michaela launched her latest picture book, Knock Knock Open the Door at a special event in Brighton’s Book Nook children’s book shop. She read and performed the book to a packed audience of youngsters and parents with young family, and afterwards signed and dedicated books for a queue of enthusiastic buyers.
Mile Oak Primary outsmarts Michaela
Michaela was outsmarted by Cameron and Charley at Mile Oak Primary in Brighton in a special Master Mind competition based on her own books. Run as part of Mile Oak’s Michaela Morgan Challenge, organised by Assistant Head Martin Cooper, the competition encouraged all the children to read several of Michaela’s books and answer quizzes on them. The results over three weeks were remarkable, with 850-990 books being read per week among the children, and up to 87% of children getting all quiz questions correct. The best two pupils went on to face Michaela in front of the whole school – and won. Poor Michaela came last!
Michaela added:”This was great fun, and proves I don’t always know as much about my books as I should. It is a tribute to Martin’s successful work in creating a reading culture at the school, and the tremendous effort from Cameron and Charley. All I can say is next time I will try that bit harder.”
Studfall Infants make their own picture book!
Michaela now has some real competition after Purple class of Studfall Infants in Corby decided to make their own picture book. The children were so excited when Michaela showed them Knock Knock Open the Door and Never Shake a Rattlesnake they decided to make their own based on Michaela’s popular Fish in the Sea song.
The class showed Michaela their book as she ended two great days in the Corby school working with a wide age range, and she stayed on to sign books as keepsakes for the children who showed great signs of  becoming authors themselves.
Bunny books get Chinese editions
Michaela’s charming Bunny books (Dear Bunny and Bunny Wishes) are now available in the People’s Republic of China. The books, which detail the sometimes difficult paths to true love for two shy rabbits, are ideal for the young and the young at heart.
Already a success in the United States (with well over 100,000 sold in print and audio versions) Michaela has also been working with literary agents in Korea to secure a new deal with a major publisher for Dear Bunny. A new Korean edition will appear soon.
While Chinese publications are a first for Michaela her work is already published in many different languages around the world. These range from Welsh to Finnish, Korean and as far as Xhosa in South Africa.
Walter Tull’s Scrapbook was CLPE Book of the Week
Walter Tull’s Scrapbook was chosen as a Book of the Week by the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE). This great honor ranks Michaela’s work alongside other recent releases on Walter Tull, such as Michael Morpurgo’s latest work.
Swedish release for “Letter” duo
Michaela’s books Letter from America and Buddies have now been released in a combined publication for the Swedish market. Called Brev-Vanner in Sweden this new publication is the first time that both books have been seen under one cover.
“It makes perfect sense”, says Michaela, “as you get so much more from the story when you read both books, and it is even better when you read them in order. It would be lovely to see them re-released in the UK in the same format.”
Charming has theatre launch!
Charming! was launched in great style in  the Studio Theatre in Uppingham, Rutland. The busy night included dancing from the Youth Moves troupe (taking up the theme of book), readings from Michaela of her latest works, and a hectic signing session where children, parents and grandparents could choose from a whole range of Michaela’s current books.
Over 50 people attended this relaxed, amusing and friendly event which was enlivened by three dance numbers by Youth Moves in the theatre space itself.
Michaela added: “I think the launch really worked well with the content of the book, and I’d like to thank Youth Moves and the many people who came to chat, to listen and to enjoy the evening.”
Walter Tull’s Scrapbook launch in Brent Libraries
Michaela has celebrated the launch of Walter Tull’s Scrapbook in a series of popular events at four libraries in the London Borough of Brent as part of the Word Up! festival. Talking to different classes and year groups from invited schools Michaela’s successful presentations took children of different ages and cultural backgrounds through Walter’s amazing life story, the history of the times and how Walter stands as an example for all of us today. The story was so strong – and Walter’s example so outstanding – that members of the public and other passers-by joined in to listen.
Brecknock Library Opening
Brecknock Primary School in London opened a new library and invited Michaela to cut the ribbon. Michaela’s visit was the result of months of planning by the school, parents and its pupils to create a bright library and reading space.
Michaela also took the chance to read as yet unpublished stories to the children, and talk to the school assembly. Michaela was delighted to be involved with a school devoted to books and with children so enthusiastic about reading.
Michaela in Teach Primary magazine
Michaela has taken her views on school libraries into Teach Primary magazine. Writing on behalf of the Society Authors (of which she is a Committee Member) Michaela wrote an article extolling the virtues of effective school libraries and the beneficial effects they have on life-long reading (“If I ruled the world, Teach Primary, Issue 6 2012).
She used examples from recent school visits to show how forward-looking Heads are re-creating libraries from otherwise unused school space to create a book buzz in schools. And in a telling conclusion she reminded readers that libraries are compulsory in prisons, where she worked for many years. How worrying that libraries are seen as a luxury in many of today’s primary schools.
Great Week at Ross on Wye
Michaela has just sent a great week as poet in residence at Ashfield Park Primary School, Ross-on-Wye, as part of the Ledbury Poetry Festival. She worked with children, teachers and parents to help they celebrate their special Olympic and Jubilee year.
Kitty Kool across the UK
Kitty Kool has been charming children across the UK as Michaela takes her book (and Michaela’s magic dressing up box) from festival to festival across the country. After the wonderful launch in Brighton the next stop was the Uppingham Feast in Rutland, where Michaela and other story tellers took over an empty shop to keep children enchanted on what proved to be an exciting day.
Next stop was the Sea, Salt and Sail festival in Mousehole, Cornwall, where Michaela and other story tellers kept hosts of children entranced on the beach of this wonderful Cornish village. Michaela even borrowed a boat (safely moored on dry land) when some of the children wanted to dress up as pirates. And what a scurvy crew they made.
Everyone got prizes for their great costumes – or should that treasure if you are a Pirate?
Fun with Kitty Kool
Kitty Kool’s Beauty School was launched at a fun event for children and parents in the Book Nook in Brighton. The tale of Kitty Kool’s problems dressing a silly spider and a cranky crocodile had the packed audience spell bound, but the fun had only just begun.
Everyone had the chance to create their own look using Kitty Kool’s special dressing up box, and there was a carnival parade around the shop. And best of all, Michaela and her glamorous assistant Alex decided the children had done so well there would be prizes for all.
It proved to be a great morning for everyone involved, and Michaela would like to thank everyone who came and especially the adults who entered into the fun – and the wigs. Kitty Kool would have been proud of you all!
Review for Brave Mouse
Michaela’s books reach all over the world. Here is a review from the Walker Books web site in Australia and New Zealand.
Big in Azerbaijan!
Michaela was sent a lovely email by Luna, a pupil of The International School in Azerbaijan (TISA). Luna likes Michaela’s books a lot, and liked Michaela’s reply to her email even more. She liked it so much she put the whole story in the next edition of her school newspaper, The TISA Times. Michaela was thrilled to get quite so much attention from somewhere so far away. 
Breakthrough at LAMDA
The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (Lambda) is planning to use three of Michaela’s children’s poems in a forthcoming poetry anthology. The three are: “Question Time”, “The Things Mums Say” and “Big Fat Budgie”. Michaela said: “This is brilliant news. They’ve all been published before, but this is the first time by LAMDA. I like to imagine students practicing their performances of my poems!” 
Michaela at Uppingham C of E
Michalea met a crew of scurvy pirates at Uppingham C of E Primary School. To save herself from walking the plank she helpted them speak pirate instead, with lots of Ahoys!, Avasts! and Aaaaarghs! Michaela’s special thanks go to Rachel de Wet and her Foxes class, and Head Iain Peden, for a brilliant day.
A Big hand at Danesholme Corby
Michalea enjoyed a great day at Danesholme Infants in Corby. Our thanks to Mrs Durham and all her staff, and all the enthusiastic parents and children. They were so eager Michaela almost ran out of books at her signing. This is certainly a first!
World Book Day in Rotherham
Michaela was the star of the National Literacy Trust’s vintage Story Bus in Rotherham on World Book Day. Parties of Children from schools all over the area visited the bus throughout the day to listen to Michaela thrilling story and poems. The Mayor and Mayoress of Rotherham joined the fun.