CHILDREN at a Catterick Garrison school have received a personal video message from leading children’s author Sir Michael Morpurgo.

Year five pupils at Le Cateau Community Primary School had been reading Kensuke’s Kingdom in class, a tale of a shipwrecked young boy and his dog who are taught to survive Pacific island life by an ancient Japanese warrior.

The children were so inspired by the book they decided to send a special video message to the world-renowned author.

In their video, the children told him about their school and asked the writer questions about his work.

And they were surprised and delighted when they received a personal reply by the knighted novelist.

The talk, which was filmed in his Devonshire home, details his writing processes, his inspirations and some insider knowledge on the book.

He told the pupils: “I know your place. When I was in the army… we went up to Catterick Camp and we went stomping around on those Moors up there in the wind and the rain."

He also explained that he used to be a primary school teacher and his writing career started when he told his own stories to his Year 6 class.

Deputy Headteacher, Kate Maxwell, who set up the connection said: “It is not every day that the opportunity arises to have contact with a world famous author, so I was thrilled when Sir Michael agreed to create a video reply for our pupils.  

“It is even better that he shares the armed forces connection with our pupils and understands how this impacts upon their lives.

“We are so grateful to him for providing such a detailed and thorough response to the children’s questions. 

“Watch this space as I am sure that we have some budding writers among us who will be gracing your bookshelves in the future!” 

Assistant director for education and skills, Amanda Newbold, said: “Kensuke’s Kingdom is also one of my favourite children’s books, which I always enjoyed reading with my classes when I was teaching.

“Reading helps children emotionally, culturally and educationally, so it’s great to see the enthusiasm which prompted them to create the video for Sir Michael Morpurgo. 

"It was wonderful that they received such a personal response from him.”

Headteacher at Le Cateau, Ian Mottram, said: “Our Year 5 pupils will remember for many years to come; making memories for our highly mobile population is exactly what our school is all about.”