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

Tuesday 30 April 2019

Review: The Little Stowaway

The Little Stowaway tells the true story of a young French orphan, who wandered into a military camp during World War 1 on Christmas Day in 1918, freezing and hungry. The boy, named HonorĂ©, often called Henri, was taken under the wings of the Australian Flying Corp and an airman named Tim. He soon gained the nickname Young Digger.

Tim tried to help the boy find his remaining family in France, but, due to the ravages of war, no family could be found. Tim wrote to his wife in Australia saying he wanted to adopt the boy into their family.

When the war ended, to avoid being sent to an orphanage, Honoré began a long journey to Australia, as a stowaway, hidden in an oat sack.

Vicki Bennett's narrative takes us into this time, through the eyes of the child, as we sense the war raging around him, whilst still having hope in his heart.

The dedication acknowledges Tim's granddaughter and her family, and the Australian War Memorial, and thanks them for their generosity of time and advice and access to information and original photographs, which validate the authenticity of this story.

These treasured photographs are beautifully incorporated into Tull Suwannakit's illustrations, which feature dusty-brown nostalgic tones, with a hint of colour, taking us back in time to a world at war, counterbalanced with the reminder that there is always hope and love.

Title: The Little Stowaway
Author: Vicki Bennett
Illustrator: Tull Suwannakit
Publisher: Scholastic, $24.99
Publication Date: 1 March 2018
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9781742993072
For ages: 3 - 7
Type: Picture Book