Top 20 Picture Books for ANZAC Day
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.
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 primary – lower 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.
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.