How Kensuke's Kingdom Inspired Me to Travel the World
Kensuke's Kingdom: A Book Review
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to sail around the world with your family? Or to be stranded on a deserted island with a mysterious man? Or to face the horrors of war and nuclear bombs? If you have, then you might enjoy reading Kensuke's Kingdom, a thrilling and touching novel by Michael Morpurgo.
What is Kensuke's Kingdom about?
Kensuke's Kingdom is a story of survival, adventure, friendship, and peace. It tells the tale of Michael, a twelve-year-old boy who goes on a sailing trip with his parents and his dog Stella Artois. Along the way, they encounter storms, pirates, dolphins, and whales. But one night, Michael falls overboard and washes up on a remote island in the Pacific Ocean. There, he meets Kensuke, an old Japanese man who has been living there for forty years. Together, they learn to overcome their differences and help each other survive.
Who is the author and illustrator?
The author of Kensuke's Kingdom is Michael Morpurgo, a famous British writer who has written over 100 books for children and young adults. He was born in 1943 and grew up in London. He was inspired to write Kensuke's Kingdom by a letter he received from a fan who had sailed around the world with his family. He also based some of the events in the book on his own experiences as a teacher and a traveller.
The illustrator of Kensuke's Kingdom is Michael Foreman, a renowned British artist who has illustrated over 300 books for children and adults. He was born in 1938 and grew up in Suffolk. He has travelled extensively around the world and has used his drawings to capture the beauty and diversity of different cultures and landscapes.
Why is this book worth reading?
Kensuke's Kingdom is a book that will captivate you from the first page to the last. It will make you laugh, cry, wonder, and reflect. It will transport you to a different world and time, where you will encounter amazing sights and sounds. It will also teach you valuable lessons about life, such as the importance of courage, compassion, loyalty, and hope.
Summary of the plot
The letter that changed everything
The story begins with Michael telling us how his life was normal until he received a letter on his eleventh birthday. The letter was from his father's company, informing him that he had been made redundant. This meant that his father had lost his job and had no income. Michael's family was devastated by this news, as they had been living comfortably in their house in England.
However, Michael's parents decided to turn this misfortune into an opportunity. They sold their house and bought a boat called Peggy Sue. They planned to sail around the world for a year or two, and then return to England and start a new life. Michael was excited by this idea, as he loved the sea and adventure. He also hoped that this trip would bring his family closer together.
The voyage around the world
Michael and his family set sail on July 28, 1988, the day after his twelfth birthday. They took with them their dog Stella Artois, who had a keen sense of smell and direction. They also took a radio, a laptop, a camera, and some books. They kept a ship's log, where they recorded their daily activities and observations.
They travelled across the Atlantic Ocean, stopping at various ports and islands along the way. They met many interesting people and saw many wonderful sights. They also faced some dangers and challenges, such as storms, sharks, and pirates. They learned to cope with the hardships and joys of living on a boat.
They reached South Africa in December 1988, where they spent Christmas and New Year. They then continued their journey eastward, crossing the Indian Ocean and heading towards Australia. They planned to sail through the Coral Sea and the Torres Strait, and then turn north towards Japan.
The shipwreck and the island
On January 28, 1989, Michael's life changed forever. That night, he was on watch duty with his father, while his mother was asleep below deck. They were sailing through the Coral Sea, near Papua New Guinea. The weather was calm and clear, and the stars were shining brightly.
Michael decided to go to the bow of the boat, where he could see the water better. He took Stella with him, and left his father at the helm. He enjoyed watching the waves and feeling the breeze. He also noticed some glowing creatures in the water, which he later learned were phosphorescent plankton.
Suddenly, he heard a loud noise behind him. He turned around and saw a huge wall of water looming over the boat. It was a freak wave, caused by an underwater earthquake or volcanic eruption. It crashed onto the boat, sweeping Michael and Stella overboard.
Michael struggled to stay afloat in the dark and turbulent water. He called out for his parents, but there was no answer. He felt something tug at his ankle. It was Stella, who had managed to grab his shoelace with her teeth. She pulled him towards a piece of wreckage from the boat.
Michael climbed onto the wreckage, which was a wooden crate filled with footballs. He hugged Stella and thanked her for saving him. He looked around for any sign of his parents or Peggy Sue, but he saw nothing but water and sky.
He felt hopeless and terrified. He wondered if his parents were still alive, or if they had drowned or been eaten by sharks. He wondered if anyone would ever find him or rescue him. He wondered if he would die on this crate with his dog.
He tried to keep calm and think of a plan. He remembered that his father had taught him some survival skills, such as how to make a signal fire or a raft. He also remembered that his father had given him a pocket knife for his birthday, which he had kept in his pocket.
He decided to use the knife to cut open some of the footballs and inflate them with air. He then tied them together with shoelaces and ropes to make a raft. He put Stella on the raft and climbed on himself. He hoped that this raft would be more stable and visible than the crate.
He also decided to use one of the footballs as a pillow for his head. He wrote on it with a marker pen: 'Michael Turner from England'. He hoped that someone would find this ball and know who he was.
He then lay down on the raft and tried to sleep. He prayed that God would protect him and his parents.
The friendship with Kensuke
The next morning, Michael woke up to find himself still alive on the raft. He felt thirsty and hungry, but he had no food or water with him. He looked around for any sign of land or ships, but he saw none.
He decided to paddle with his hands in one direction, hoping to reach somewhere or someone. He paddled for hours, until he was exhausted and blistered.
He then noticed something on the horizon. It looked like a green line against the blue sky. It was land! It was an island!
Michael felt a surge of hope and joy. He paddled faster towards the island, hoping to find fresh water and food there. He also hoped to find people who could help him or contact his parents.
He reached the shore of the island 71b2f0854b