A fantastic opportunity to meet one of the funniest, most versatile and daring of writers for children and young people. I’m a fan from way back, having been transfixed by Two Weeks with the Queen in 1990, so it was a privilege to hear Morris talking about his motivations and choice of themes. I never thought I’d feel sympathy for one of the most loathed of creatures, the Queensland cane toad! We were also treated to a foretaste of the new Toad book, on the brink of publication.
Less funny but powerfully engaging, the ‘Felix and Zelda Series’ brings older readers into contact with the Holocaust. How Morris enlivens his resilient young characters without romanticising the horrors they face is a measure of his immense skill as a story-teller. I was particularly delighted by his revelation that one of his favourites as a child was Richmal Crompton, author of the hilarious William series, a highlight of my own bookish childhood.
The audience loved his readings, his responses to questions and the rare blend of sympathy and comedy he brings to his creations. I for one can’t wait to read more!