'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Thursday 25 April 2013

ANZAC Day Picture Books

Here at KBR, we simply adore the beautiful picture books released each year around ANZAC Day. Heartfelt and visually beautiful, they never fail to tug at the heart strings. All of these books, some new releases, some older favourites, make for great classroom additions, but are equally as important at home. Lest we forget.

ANZAC Biscuits by Phil Cummings and Owen Swan (Scholastic, $24.99, 9781742833460)

Rachel is in the kitchen, warm and safe. Her father is in the trenches, cold and afraid. When Rachel makes biscuits for her father, she adds the love, warmth and hope that he needs.

This is a touching story of a family torn apart by war but brought together through the powerful simplicity of Anzac

Vietnam Diary by Mark Wilson (Lothian, $24.99, 9780734412744)

A powerful and moving story about the bonds of brotherhood and the tragedy of war, from the creator of My Mother's Eyes and Angel of Kokoda.

Leigh and Jason are inseparable.

But when Jason is conscripted and sent to fight in Vietnam, they are divided not just by distance, but by their beliefs about the war.

The Fair Dinkum War by David Cox (Allen & Unwin, $24.99, 9781743310625)

David Cox was a young boy during World War Two. He remembers his class racing oustide to watch a long line of soldiers in trucks and jeeps passing by, and how the children played war games and knew every aeroplane, tank and warship. Everyone took part in the war effort, and they all longed for the day it would be over.

This story of resilience and bravery captures the everyday moments - the challenges, the heartbreak and the humour - of people living in Australia during the years of the Second World War.

See our review of The Fair Dinkum War here.

Lone Pine by Susie Brown and Margaret Warner (Little Hare Books, $24.95 RRP, 9781921541346)

From a battlefield in Gallipoli, a soldier sends a pine cone home to his mother. Little does he know that his simple gift will become a national symbol of remembrance.

Based on a true story, Lone Pine is a moving account of both a personal experience and a nation-defining event.

Archie's Letter: An Anzac Day Story by Martin Flanagan (One Day Hill Publishers, $19.99 RRP, 9780980794878)

On Anzac day 2010, a 96-year-old man in Hobart, a returned soldier from World War II, wrote a letter to the local paper thanking the people who were going to that morning's dawn service. Who was this man? why did he write this letter?

Archie's Letter tells the story of an ordinary man who went off to fight in World War II. His experiences include the Burma railway, where he was under the command of Australian war hero, Weary Dunlop.

Archie's Letter also tells how he dealt with his wartime experiences; how, at the ae of 91, he agreed to meet a group of elderly Japanese women interested in world peace; how he could never forget the young men with him during the war who didn't come back.

Archie's Letter is written by Martin Flanagan. It is adapted from The Line by arch and Martin Flanagan.

Memorial by Gary Crew (Hachette Australia, $16.99 RRP, 9780734405456)

A story to help us all remember...

When the soldiers return in 1918, a memorial tree is planted... 'Lest we forget'. But generations later, what do those who paise in the shadows of the tree's immense branches remember?

A touching and insightful message we should never forget from internationally acclaimed children's choice author Gary Crew and multi-award winning illustrator Shaun Tan.