Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Anzac Book Selections

Anzac is fast approaching, & as it races ever nearer I find myself looking over our bookshelves to see what titles I can pull out to read in the coming week ahead. We've slowly been building our Anzac Library, as well as the rest of our Aussie History library. Many books were acquired because of Jayden's fascination with the army & his love for all things surrounding it.

Anzac is only 11 days away, & as the new term speeds towards us accompanied by Anzac I find myself pouring over the Australian History shelves in our home library, scouring it for books on the topic. We’ve been building this particular section of our Aussie History library for a while, thanks to a little boy who cannot get enough of history, especially the portions which involve the army or branches thereof.

From a little boy’s perspective he looks over the endless books & sees courage & victory, action, & adventure; and it hits me that many of the young men who lied about their own ages to enlist in the Great War probably saw the very same things in their own imaginations. We have the advantage of knowing the end, the horrors & the glory, & while many tales of Anzac are filled with grief & sadness our little boy looks upon them & asks the simplest of questions, “.. but why?”

And so we open the books & we read. We watch the same tale open before us & we know the ending this time. The good, the bad, the horrible. We read it anyway, & we try to make sense of what happened. We listen to the speeches, & we recite the poems. We answer in unison, “Lest we forget!” & above all we want to shout, “Never again.” 

This little boy sees the ribbons & medals. He reads the stories & is drawn into them, imagining the goodness, the heroism, the victors. He watches the men parade up the street while we cheer them on, & he asks if any of them really did fight on that fateful day. It’s then that I always fall apart, the moment he asks about his Uncle & if he’ll ever have to go fight like that. I stand & ponder the same question. I have no answer, but then, he didn’t really expect one.

If you’re looking for some lovely reads to share with your family for Anzac here are a few of our favourites:

The Donkey Who Carried The Wounded — Written in the normal journal entry style the rest of the Animal Star books are written in, this book takes turns with narration from both human & animal as we see the story unfold from the eyes of both. A winner for the animal lover in our home. The book has a section in the back about the facts that the book is based on from the meaning of Anzac to the true Aussie slang used throughout the book.

History Of Australia — Chapter 21 is about The Great War & does a great job telling a non-fiction view of Australia’s roll. The pictures are all pen & ink, but for some you may wish to preview the picture on page 130 {fallen soldier bleeding} prior to letting littles peek inside. Author: Manning Clark, Meredith Hooper, Susanne Ferrier

Anzac Day — Each page within shares information about one particular battle or division of the military service. It covers Anzac through the Middle East controversy of the 90’s, as well as war memorials, military uniforms, & more. Author: Jill Bruce

Meet The Anzacs — This beautiful picture book tells how the Australian & New Zealand armies were formed & works it’s way through that fateful night.. Included in the back of the book is a timeline of events starting with the assassination & ending with the ceasefire. Author: Claire Saxby

An Anzac Tale — This book starts with the declaration of war & finishes with the the retreat of the few who survived. The book is written in comic book fashion with native Australian animals in full garb who happen to be the heroes & heroines of the story. It includes many true facts in the back of the book explaining where in the main text you will find the information in the story. There is also a small timeline in the back of the book. This is  one of the most red Anzac books in our home. Author: Ruth Starke & Greg Hofeld

Gallipoli — A simple little picture book with beautiful watercolour drawing inside. The book covers, in a more gentle fashion the unfolding of what happened from the leaving of the soldiers to their return back home. A note for the more sensitive: one of the young soldiers in the book loses his leg. You see him upon a stretcher with a bandage upon his leg that has red upon it. The next time he’s seen he’s home on crutches. Author: Kerry Greenwood & Annie White

See inside The First World War — A typical Usborne Flap Book that gets a lot of love & use around our home. The pages are thick & cover small tidbits of information & factoids. All pictures are tactful & gentle for the young, but for the more sensitive I’d urge you to preview the book first as there are a few pages with fallen soldiers, some with blood some without. Author: Rob Lloyd Jones 


Winter Is coming said...

Thanks for the list Kendra. This is my first time on your blog. Just wondering at what age did you or the world introduce the concept of war to your son? My son is 5 and I am fairly sure that he doesn't know what guns are.

Winter Is coming said...

Thanks for the list Kendra. This is my first time on your blog. Just wondering at what age did you or the world introduce the concept of war to your son? My son is 5 and I am fairly sure that he doesn't know what guns are.

Kendra said...

My boys are teens & have all ready learned about various wars that have helped to shape US history as well as other world history. They've read about the fateful incident between Captain Cook & the Aborigine peoples, as well as all ready learning about both WWs previously.

I don't know that I ever introduced the topic per-say aside from a history lesson. My boys have had little toy soldiers for years & years though. I felt it important for them to understand that war is not something to romanticise, but rather understand that it's a last resort.