Top 20 Picture Books for ANZAC Day

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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.

Reading to remember them

Today I read ‘ANZAC Biscuits’ with a Year Four class and I really had to gather myself together in order to keep going – so powerful are the words, images and symbolism in this book.

Below my book recommendations there is a recipe for ANZAC biscuits, which Pud and I made together this afternoon (before we picked The Wild Thing up…cause no one wants to let her near cooking). You can find a recipe for ANZACs anywhere but I like mine as it is from my 1980 Kindergarten cookbook and the pages are food stained and well worn. Pud is just six, and it’s 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’  and ‘The Poppy’ with Pud, but I am aware many parents would prefer to leave such books until their children are more mature.

The titles below are ones suitable from middle primarylower secondary. ‘I Was Only Nineteen’ will bring tears to the eyes of any adult or young person and ‘When the War is Over’ is one of the most emotionally charged picture books for older readers that I have read in some time.

Earlier this year 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.

ANZAC Day Books

Click on title links or cover image to purchase.

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i-was-only-nineteen anzac-biscuits

gallipoli (2)

midnight do-not-forget-australia

the-fair-dinkum-war a-day-to-remember the-afghanistan-pup vietnam-diary angel-of-kokoda my-mother-s-eyes memorial an-anzac-tale lone-pine simpson-and-his-donkey the-red-poppy my-grandad-marches-on-anzac-day

ANZAC Biscuits

1 cup plain flour

1 cup sugar (brown or raw)

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup coconut

125g butter

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.

ANZAC biscuitsANZAC biscuitsbakingbakingANZAC baking


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Megan Daley Bio

Looking for more great book reviews and recommendations? I’m Megan Daley and you can find out more about me here.

My book recommendations (for babies to young adults) is here and you can peruse ALL of my reviews (searchable by age, genre and theme) here.

Check out my mini ebook, 'What to Read Next' or sign up for my FREE webinar, '3 Tips to Start the Best Book Club Ever'.

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  1. Hilary Campbell on Apr 3, 2016 at 10:00 pm

    Tried to use the code MOTHER on the Booktopia website for free shipping but was told it was not valid.

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