It can often be difficult to explain the significance of ANZAC Day to young children, but help is at hand. We have put together a selection of our favourite ANZAC books for you to share with the little book lovers in your life.
The Anzac Billy by Claire Saxby
A tender, moving story of a child waiting at home for the return of his father from serving in WWI.
During World War I, Australian and New Zealand soldiers on the front were sent Christmas care packages in a tin billy. The Anzac Billy is the heart-warming story of a little boy packing a billy with all his father’s favourite things – added to by mum and grandma – even though he realises there is no way that the billy can actually go to a particular soldier.
A Day to Remember by Jackie French | Illustrator Mark Wilson
Anzac Day is the day when we remember and honour Anzac traditions down the ages, from the first faltering march of wounded veterans in 1916 to the ever-increasing numbers of their descendants who march today. Containing reference to the many places the ANZACs have fought, and the various ways in which they keep the peace and support the civilians in war-torn parts of the world today, this is a picture book that looks not only at traditions, but also the effects of war.
The Last Anzac by Gordon Winch | illustrated by Harriet Bailey
This book is based on the true story of a small boys visit to meet Alec Campbell in the year 2001.
To James, Alec Campbell was a hero. He was right. The old man, the last living ANZAC, and all of the Australian and New Zealand soldiers who fought at Gallipoli, were heroes everyones heroes.
Alec, who died in May 2002 at the age of 103, enlisted in 1915 when he was just 16. He had increased his age to 18 in order to be accepted by the army and agreed to fight at the front, wherever he was needed. Heroic indeed! James was very fortunate to meet Alec Campbell and find out about his experiences. He gives us a special view of this humble and remarkable man, the year before he died.
Reflection by Rebecka Sharpe Shelberg
Remembering Those Who Serve In War
Left! Left! Left! Right! Left! We make our way in the dark.
A family journeys through the early morning darkness … A group of young men huddle in a cold muddy trench … Reflection is a powerful tribute to those who have served their country.
Notable Book, Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Award, Picture Book Category, 2017. This picture book is a great way to introduce children to the history of Australia and its role in various conflicts around the globe. Child readers will be able to connect to the story through the family depicted attending a dawn service.
When the War is Over by Jackie French | Anna Spudvilas,
From one of Australia’s most-loved authors comes a book about homecomings, and the enduring power of love.
Now the war is over
And they say the world is free,
Though somewhere guns are snarling,
You’ve come back to me.
War may never truly end, but there can be homecomings.
From two of Australia’s most highly regarded children’s book creators, Jackie French and Anne Spudvilas, this is a powerful and moving book. Created from a poem, When the War is Over doesn’t focus on one particular war but covers a wide period from WW1 to current-day peacekeeping around the world and highlights important aspects to draw in readers.