Michael Morpurgo marks Platinum Jubilee with new biography of the Queen

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Best-selling children’s author Michael Morpurgo has carried out a reading of his latest book about the Queen’s life to mark her Platinum Jubilee.

The War Horse writer read his book There Once Is A Queen at the live-streamed event at Portsmouth Central Library, Hampshire, in front of 120 pupils from the city’s St Jude’s School.

Michael Morpurgo stands holding his new book Once There is a Queen
Michael Morpurgo, the former Children’s Laureate, marks the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee with his new book (Steve Parsons/PA)

The book, illustrated by Michael Foreman, begins with The Queen planting an oak tree with her father and follows her reign to the present day.

HarperCollins Children’s Books and national charity The Reading Agency are donating 5,000 copies of the book to libraries across the UK and Northern Ireland.

Children listen as Michael Morpurgo reads from his new book
An audience of 120 school children from St Jude’s School, plus an online live-stream, listened to the author’s reading at Portsmouth Central Library (Steve Parsons/PA)

Mr Morpurgo said: “Libraries have been, and continue to be, a constant in our communities, our schools, and lives.

“Libraries, and particularly the librarians who work in them, are vital for us all, but especially for those who need them most: those with least, young, and old.”

Councillor Suzy Horton, cabinet member for children, families and education at Portsmouth City Council, said: “Anything which helps promote a culture of books and reading among children and young people in the city is warmly welcomed, and we are delighted to be involved in this event.”

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