written by Kerry Brown
illustrated by Isobel Knowles and Benjamin Portas
reviewed by Kerry Neary
This is not a book about ANZAC Day or any other memorial day, for that matter. Rather, it is designed to give early readers some insight into the emotions of sadness and pride that are drawn out on such days. It’s a story of memories, a boy and his grandfather.
The boy reflects on the grandfather’s observation that some memories we want to remember, while others we want to forget. The boy remembers his first day at school and a brand new uniform; the birth of his little sister; burying a pet. On the turn of the page we share the grandfather’s memories of his time in war, parallel situations: his new uniform on enlisting; a baby photo from home; a telegram; no words. Mum burning a roast might not be as bad as a diet of bully beef. The writing has a vibrancy of excitement. The illustrations show the contrasts as well; joyful and whimsical for the boy’s memories but sombre and still for grandfather’s, without glory. Guiding adults can help the under 6s see that wartime makes the difference with this very touching book about remembering.
ABC Books Harper Collins 2015 Hardback $24.99 Picture Book Age 6+ISBN: 9780733332333