Michael Morpurgo: The Butterfly Lion

Whenever we go on holiday

I take books with us that are linked to where we are going

Until this holiday

The books have mostly been picture books

This time when travelling to Cornwall

We decided to read some Michael Morpurgo

I thought we might start with

Why The Whales Came

Because of the Cornish connection

But then we were asked to be part of a very special blog tour

And changed our debut Morpurgo story

To be

The Butterfly Lion

mm mm launch

As Esther and William have grown

And become readers themselves

We are sharing more and more books together

We have recently read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Devoured the entire collection of Roald Dahl audio books

And this past week read our first Michael Morpurgo book together

In just two sittings!

Before starting the ever popular The Butterfly Lion

We read a book new to me


mm mm cool

I chose it after a quick glance at the blurb

And seeing the word football

William is a bit obsessed with football at the moment

When we started reading the book

I realised that football was just a small part of the story

This was a story of love and loss

This was a story of the relationship between a boy and his dog

This was the story of a boy in a coma after being struck by a car

This was a story that was easy and hard to read aloud at the same time

This was a story that made Esther, William and I laugh and cry

It made us so joyful at the end

And we kept on exclaiming to each other

About how happy we were that the story had such a wonderful ending

This shared experience will stay with me for a long long time

This reading experience has affected me

And importantly has opened up my mind to reading again

I have not read anything new since Tilda died

I have found solace in books I know

Stories that are familiar

I have not felt able to deal with surprises

This book took me by surprise

And I was okay

This book talked about pain and loss

This book talked about death and grief

I read it and I felt it

And I cried

Alongside my children

But I survived

And they survived

And when the words were tough to say out loud

I asked them

Are you sure you want me to go on?

And they were

And I was so glad because I wanted to read on too

And we read on together

Urging Robbie to get well

Willing his parents to do what they needed to do

Hoping beyond hope that our suspicions about how the story might end

Would come true

This was a wonderful book

And a brilliant start to our Michael Morpurgo experience

A brilliant way to pop the cork

And let Michael’s stories flow

I have read lots of Morpurgo’s books

And my absolute favourite is Private Peaceful

That I read first to myself

And then aloud to my Year 5 class

Who loved it as much as I did

Have you ever read a Michael Morpurgo book?

They are fantastically written

And easy to read aloud

The writing has a rhythm that lends itself

To be being read out loud

To be told almost in role as the storyteller

As the main character

Michael’s writing sucks you in

And you fall in love with his characters

And you get caught up in the twists and turns of the plot

You are very quickly emotionally invested in a Michael Morpurgo story

This week we are reading our second of Michael’s books

For the very exciting #MorpurgosAnimals blog tour

We are reading the story of The Butterfly Lion

And we would love to share our reading with you

mm mm b lion

The Butterfly Lion

As with all of Michael Morpurgo’s animal stories

Beautifully illustrates the amazing relationship

Between humans and animals

The story highlights how animals

Can shape a person’s life story

The Butterfly Lion

Tells the tale of a friendship

Between a boy and a lion

This is a lost and found story

Of friendship and love

This book is a promise kept

The story combines sadness and sorrow

With love and happiness

Loneliness and friendship

Life and death

Each concept and emotion

Illustrated with animals and war stories

In a way I believe

Only Michael Morpurgo can

This is a book

With twists and turns

It challenges your emotions

Ignites your curiosity

It is one of those stories

That makes you want to read on and on

Needing to know what happens next

The Butterfly Lion starts with Bertie

A young boy in Africa

Who rescues an orphaned lion cub

A white lion

The two become the very best of friends

The time comes for Bertie to go to boarding school in England

And the white lion cub is sold to a French circus

As they leave each other and Africa

Bertie makes his promise

All my life I’ll think of you, I promise I will, I won’t ever forget you

Bertie promises the lion that he will find him again

I have read the whole book

But so far with the children

We are up to this point

The last two chapters we have read

Where Bertie and the lion cub run away

To avoid the lion being sold to the circus

And then the lion being sold to the French circus owner

Have been so emotional

William has sobbed and sobbed

The boy tries to make the lion think he hates him

To make him runaway

And it all feels so real

When you are caught up in the action and emotion of the story

We have talked about sometimes if you really love someone

You have to let them go

We have talked about how some times things happen

That are out of our control

And we have talked about something mentioned in the text of the story

That not all stories have happy endings

This beautiful and clever book

Is really helping me to talk to my children

About feelings



But mostly we are just so engaged with these characters

And this story

Later today I am going to film Esther and William talking about the story

The film will be on my Edspire Facebook page

I am going to ask them some questions about The Butterfly Lion

And about Cool!

We will finish the book tomorrow night

And I will film them again

Talking about the second part of the story

It has an unexpected twist and I am interested to see

How they will understand and interpret it

If you are looking for a first Michael Morpurgo story

To read with your little ones

Then I reckon that The Butterfly Lion

Might just be the one

If you would like to win a signed copy of

Michael Morpurgo’s The Butterfly Lion

Then all you have to do

Is complete the Rafflecopter form below

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please do look out for our videos on Facebook today

And do read the other blogs involved in the

#MorpurgosAnimals tour

mm mm tour

UPDATE: William and I talking about The Butterfly Lion

This is a collaborative post

10 thoughts on “Michael Morpurgo: The Butterfly Lion

    • I have always loved Michael Morpurgo and I am so pleased that Esther and William too. I was worried about sharing them with William as he gets so emotionally involved but it has really helped us talk about things that happen in life to us and to others. Can’t wait to read all the other posts on the tour. You tomorrow x

  1. I loved reading Enid Blyton books when I was younger and the children in the books frequently befriended wild animals. One of the boys in the Cherry Tree farm books, Benji, had a red squirrel as a pet and I always thought it would be amazing to be friends with one so that is the animal I would choose.

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