Michael Morpurgo is to team up with illustrator Michael Foreman on a book to commemorate the centenary of Armistice Day 1918 for Scholastic.
The highly illustrated Poppy Field tells of three families connected to Flanders Field, one of the First World War’s most notorious battle-fields.
UK publication is set for 4th October and Scholastic has world rights after striking a deal with Veronique Baxter at David Higham Associates.
Morpurgo said: “The poppy has become for us the symbol of remembrance. But the story of the poppy, how it became such a powerful symbol for us is less well known. Young people need to know about it, we all do. The best known poem of the First World War is probably ‘In Flanders Fields’, by The Canadian John Macrae. I wrote Poppy Field around the creation of that much read, much loved poem, set in a field in Flanders near Ypres, the story of a soldier poet and his poem, and a Belgian family caught up in the fighting. We often forget the families, the civilians who suffered and so often died. We forget too that the suffering and dying goes on for so many, long after the war has ended. They should be remembered too.”
Foreman said: "Four of my uncles died in World War One and to learn, whilst reading Michael Morpurgo's manuscript for Poppy Field, that the killing fields of Flanders still, to this day, conceal a deadly crop of old munitions just waiting to be ignited by the turn of a plough, made this a book I wanted to be part of. I felt a personal connection. The simple red poppy, and what it represents, was a powerful symbol during my childhood. It seems even more relevant in today's uncertain world."
The Royal British Legion has been involved in the development of the book and a £1 contribution per sale will go to the Royal British Legion's Poppy Appeal.