Book Reviews: for Anzac Day

Here are two excellent books for school or family libraries, as we remember all those who have fought for our freedom on special days like Anzac Day.

Both books are available on line or through you local library.

JackieFrench-When-the-war-is-overWhen The War Is Over

by Jackie French & illustrated by Anne Spudvilas. (Angus & Robertson/ HarperCollins Children’s Books, hardback, RRP$24.99) Age Group 8+ years

This is an outstanding book to remind us all of the good and bad of humanity and should be read often.

Created as a ballad about the learning and yearning conflicts cause, each page has a stanza annotated (and illustrated) by a theme related to a particular war from WWI to the current world Peacekeepers. Each page is  illustrated by Anne Spudvilas with a mixture of materials including collage and charcoal. The simple drawing of the Vietnamese father handing his small child to a army ‘digger’ with dark outlines of helicopters in the background is outstanding.

‘The crying and the pleading

As the final chapters rose

The helpless and the bleeding —

At war’s bitter, bloody close.’

This magnificently illustrated picture book is not for littlies but highly recommended for all ages as a reminder of how hard won peace is. A book to keep and cherish.

Jackie French reads this book here


One Minutes Silence

One Minute’s Silence

by David Metzenthen & illustrated by Michael Camilleri (Allen & Unwin, paperback, RRP$15.25) Age Group 8+ years

A moving and powerful story about the meaning of Remembrance Day, drawing on the Australian and Turkish battle at Gallipoli.

The beautiful prose brings to mind things to think about during a minute’s silence for a classroom of kids on Remembrance Day; the thoughts of those on the battlefront in a boat landing at Gallipoli or what they thought about as they buried their dead during a break in the fighting

WINNER: 2015 Prime Minister’s Literary Award, Children’s Fiction WINNER: CBCA Book of the Year, Crichton Award for New Illustrators, 2015 HONOUR BOOK: CBCA Picture Book of the Year, 2015