“The Kingdom of Kensuké” by Michael Morpurgo

“The Kingdom of Kensuké”: a children’s book to fill up on adventures to read, and even to see at the cinema during the school holidays, why not!

Article written by

France Info – Cécile Ribault Caillol

Radio France


Reading time: 2 min

"The Kingdom of Kensuke"Mr. Morpurgo (IGS-CP)

After War Horse by Steven Spielberg in 2011, here is now the adaptation of another novel by Michael Morpurgo: The Kingdom of Kensukepublished by Folio Junior.

Michael Morpurgo is a contemporary English author, whose children’s work is immense, with more than 35 million books sold throughout the world, and 150 novels, some of which are on the National Education program. It should also be noted that “Sir” Michael Morpurgo is a Francophile, and that some of his works, including The Kingdom of Kensuke precisely, are illustrated by François Place.

Michael Morpurgo (GALLIMARD)

The meeting between a young Robinson and an old hermit

Michael, 11, whose parents bought a boat, is traveling around the world aboard the sailboat the Peggy Sue. His mother is the captain of the boat, he and his father are the teammates and Stella Artois, the faithful family dog, accompanies them.

It’s not easy for Michael to leave dry land, but he is ultimately happy to live this extraordinary life. But a tragedy happens. One stormy day, Michael falls into the water with his dog. He finds himself stranded on a beach and will have to survive alone in this hostile environment. Alone ? Not so sure, he meets an enigmatic, very old gentleman, of Japanese origin. Despite the language barrier, they will little by little get to know each other.

Kensuké, that’s his name, was a doctor in the Japanese army, and the only survivor of a shipwreck. Also stranded on the island, and knowing that Nagasaki where his whole family lives was bombed, he decided to live off-world, and to protect the orangutans who are regularly prey to poachers. His goal: never to be spotted, so as not to have contact with the madness of men and to preserve his kingdom. Ten years after the fact, Michael tells his story with Kensuké.

An adventure full of emotions to read and watch in the cinema

The Kingdom of Kensuke is an adventure full of emotions, that of a young Robinson, crossed with the incredible and true story of these soldiers of the Japanese Imperial Army who did not believe in the end of the war in 1945, or who did not. didn’t know. Moreover, if the subject interests you, there is also, for adults this time, the film by Arthur Harari, Onoda, 10,000 nights in the jungle, released in 2021.

As to Kingdom of Kensuke, like the novel, the film also allows us to discuss with young people the themes of openness to others, respect for nature, and the notion of cinematographic adaptation, since the story is a little different. Book and animated film, it is above all an opportunity to share good times with family, and from 7-8 years old!

Happy reading and have a good week everyone!

source site-10