Michael Morpurgo has written over 95 books, including Why the Whales Came, which has been made into a major feature film, and My Friend Walter, filmed by Thames Television. Kensuke's Kingdom won the Children's Book Award 2000 and was also shortlisted for the Whitbread Children's Book Award and the Carnegie Medal in 2000. He recently achieved critical acclaim for his book Out of the Ashes, a moving novel about the foot and mouth crisis which was adapted for television. His latest novel, Private Peaceful was published in Autumn 2003. It recently won the 2004 Red House Children's Book Award, the only award voted for entirely by children.

Michael Morpurgo's statement:
"There never was a better ambassador for storytelling than Hans Christian Andersen. So to be an Ambassador myself for this great celebration is a huge honour for me. As Children's Laureate I want to encourage as many people as I can to read stories, and to write them too. The stories of Hans Christian Andersen are so good that they seem not to have been written at all, but simply to have grown out of all our storytelling traditions. He is truly the Shakespeare of storytelling."