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

Saturday 21 December 2013

Review: Christmas in the Trenches

Based on the wartime Christmas truces of 1914 and 1915, John McCutcheon’s fictional account of this real event never fails to give me goose bumps. The raw desolation and fear of living in shallow trenches one breath away from death is in stark contrast with voices raised in song and hands held out in friendship.

Up to 100,000 soldiers took part in Christmas truces up and down a frontline that stretched four hundred miles through eastern France and from the Belgian coast in the north to the Swiss border in the south.

These troops fought each other for months until an uneasy stalemate found both sides stuck in the trenches for Christmas with no hope of seeing their loved ones in the foreseeable future. Without preaching or teaching, Christmas in the Trenches questions why and how sworn enemies can share anything, but it also questions why these men ever became enemies in the first place.

Henri Sorensen’s illustrations tell of the cold, harshness of WW1, but also the warmth of these extraordinary hours of truce.

This timeless treasure will be shared many times over—and not just at Christmas.

Title: Christmas in the Trenches
Author: John McCutcheon
Illustrator: Henri Sørensen
Publisher: Peach Tree Publishers, $15.80 RRP
Publication Date: 2010
RRP: $15.80
Format: Hard Cover
ISBN: 9781561453740
For ages: 3 +
Type: Picture Book