Review Blog

Mar 05 2014

Meet the Anzacs by Claire Saxby

cover image

Ill. by Max Berry. Meet series. Random House, Australia, 2014. ISBN 9780857981929.
Recommended. The Meet series of picture books appear to be a response to the addition of History to the Australian curriculum recognising the contributions of significant historical individuals. This title instead focuses on that group of young men who helped shape the Anzac legend.
The text gives us a sense of the excitement and motivations of the volunteers as they gather from all over the country to join up and begin basic training. We sense the pride of the families and general excitement of the men as they set sail and the sense of a holiday atmosphere on the ships despite a training schedule as they head not for Europe, as expected, but Egypt. We then experience the growing impatience of the troops as they continue training in desert camps, shadowed by the pyramids, and developing as a combined Australian and New Zealand force, finally setting sail again for Gallipoli. The story ends with the men squeezed into the landing boats heading for the beaches and the final sobering sentence;
'War was like nothing they could have imagined '.
Max Berry has used muted colours in his painted illustrations depicting a range of perspectives from crowds cheering, broad landscapes to the legs of soldiers marching off to war. The soldiers are depicted at a distance so they are representative of all and any of the many ages, cultures and backgrounds that made up the original Anzacs.
Whilst there is a plethora of books being produced in anticipation of the 100 years Commemoration beginning this year, this title will be welcome in schools and homes as an explanation of the mood of the country and the soldiers prior to the reality of World War 1.
Sue Keane

BUY IT NOW ON booktopia
Archived Blog Entries
Latest News
CBCA shortlists 2017
2017 ABIA longlist
The Stella Prize shortlist for 2017
YA Book Prize 2017 shortlist
Reading Children's book prize shortlist
Indie Book Awards 2017
CILIP Carnegie Medal 2017 shortlist
CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal 2017 shortlist
School Library Association Information Book Award 2017
2017 UKLA Book Awards shortlists
International Children's Book Day 2nd April, 2017
National Simultaneous Storytime 2017

ReadPlus Features
Print similar authors bookmark
Read similar authors
How to find lesson plans
Sample theme animation

Promote Reading
Staff holiday reading list 2016
South Australian Christian Schools Conference 2016 - Library Displays
Display calendars
Science fiction and fantasy lists SAETA conference 2015
Value of School Libraries
Library, Reading development and the Internet
Free Rights of the Reader Poster
Reviews: Author index
Books for boys
Bookmark and poster templates