Among a number of excellent books with ANZAC Day themes being published for children this month is this one from a talented NZ duo. This book is a wee gem and I must admit It brought a tear to my eye.
The three young soldiers in this moving tale about war and mateship are best friends
from school, and they leave New Zealand together to go and fight at Gallipoli. Landing
first in Egypt, they travel by ship to Anzac Cove and dig into trenches to fight the Turkish
troops holding the peninsula. Conditions are tough and Joe gets sick, but his mates help
him onto a hospital ship. Then Harry is fatally wounded and his burial has to take place on
the cliff-top, away from the snipers. The three friends are reunited many years later, when
Taking inspiration from her bestselling children’s non-fiction title Anzac Day, the New Zealand Story, Philippa Werry captures the essence of the Anzac spirit with this poignant story. An illustrated factual text spread at the back of the book provides extra information about the
events pictured in the story.
About the author & illustrator
Philippa Werry is a children’s writer and author of Anzac Day, the New Zealand Story:
What it is and why it matters, also published by New Holland. She has written extensively for
the School Journal and Connected, and her book Enemy at the Gate about the polio epidemic in the 1930s was shortlisted for the NZ Post Book Awards (2009). This is her first picture
book. Philippa lives in Wellington and participates in the Book Council Writers in
Schools programme. Both her grandfathers fought in WWI (one at Gallipoli and the other
on the Western Front) and her great, great-aunt was in the first group of nurses to leave
for the First World War.
Bob Kerr is a painter and award-winning illustrator, known for his depiction of Terry and
the Gunrunners in the 1970s series written by Stephen Ballantyne. His book After the War
was a finalist in the NZ Post Children’s Book Awards and winner of the LIANZA Russell
Clark Award for illustration in 2001. Bob lives in Wellington and works from a studio in the
Berry & Co building on Cuba Street, where young soldiers were photographed before they
left to go to war. (http://collections.tepapa.govt.nz/topic/648)
New Holland - Paperback - $19.99