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

Monday 20 April 2015

Review: The Anzac Puppy

One night, in the middle of winter, in the middle of a war, a puppy was born. Even though her owner, a little girl called Lucy, loved the puppy dearly, she couldn't keep her as the war meant that food was scarce and her family didn't have enough to feed Freda, as the little dog was called.

So, Lucy had to give Freda away. Fortunately, a young soldier called Sam soon offered her a home. Although he was on his way to fight in the war, he wanted to take Freda with him as a lucky mascot. Which is how Freda found herself at the front, in the trenches with the troops.

As the war dragged on for years and years, many soldiers died and the conditions grew worse and worse. But Freda kept up Sam's spirits and he vowed to stay alive so that he could keep his promise to Lucy and bring Freda back to her when the war was over. Which he did, in one of the happiest endings to a story that you'll ever read!

This heartwarming picture book was inspired by the incredible true story of Freda, the Harlequin Great Dane, who ended up serving as the brave mascot for the New Zealand Rifle Brigade during World War I. The real Freda's story is told over two pages at the end of the book, providing a lovely finishing touch.

Beautifully designed and illustrated, this is a book that sensitively depicts the reality of war, while also offering younger readers a simple, yet memorable, story of love and friendship.

Title: The Anzac Puppy
Author: Peter Millett
Illustrator: Trish Bowles
Publisher: Scholastic, $19.50 RRP
Publication Date: March 2015
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781775430971
For ages: 6+
Type: Picture Book