25th April is ANZAC Day, a day to honour Australian and New Zealanders who have served their countries with such bravery. One of the most effective ways to ensure our children understand the importance and significance of ANZAC day is through books which recount the stories of men, women and animals at war, as well as those who were left at home – waiting, working, praying, hoping and sending care packages. Below is a small selection of picture books which are perfect for reading in the lead up to ANZAC Day – some will send shivers down your spine and some will bring tears to your eyes. I will be talking through these books on the ‘Bookworms’ show this evening, 612ABC, 8pm, with David Curnow. It is always hard to know when is a good time to start reading books which deal with war to young children. I have in fact read and discussed ‘ANZAC Biscuits’ with Years Two and Three this week in library lessons, which is completely age-appropriate. A pre-reading of titles before reading with young people will ensure that you are comfortable with the content that you are sharing.
The titles below are ones suitable from middle primary – lower secondary. ‘I Was Only Nineteen’ will bring tears to the eyes of any adult or young person. Publisher Allen & Unwin – together with singer/songwriter, John Schumann and illustrator Craig Smith – published the iconic and influential Australian song, ‘I Was Only Nineteen’, as a picture book. If you have a subscription to the utterly wonderful Story Box Library, you can watch John Schumann reading this powerful book.
Below these books is my own ANZAC biscuit recipe, from my kindergarten cookbook from 1980 – it’s a great version.
1 cup plain flour
1 cup sugar (brown or raw)
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup coconut
3 tablespoons golden syrup
1/2 teaspoon bi-carb soda in 1 tablespoon boiling water
Melt butter and syrup in saucepan. Add soda/water and watch the volcano effect! Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. Pour butter/soda mixture over and mix well. Place spoonfuls on a tray and cook at 160c until golden. Leave to cool on tray.Booktopia. You can also compare prices on Fishpond and Bookworld for Australian purchases.If you live in the US or would prefer to use Amazon click here. If you live in the UK or would prefer to use Book Depository click here. Purchases clicked through from the Children’s Books Daily site result in a small commission. Commission is used in part to maintain Children’s Books Daily and to support community groups which connect children with books.