Review Blog

Apr 17 2019

When the war is over by Jackie French

cover image

Illus. by Anne Spudvilas. Angus and Robertson, 2019. ISBN: 9781460753026.
(Age: 10+) Highly recommended. A powerful book written in poetry by the word master, Jackie French, depicts the return of those who have fought in the wars from WW1 to the present day. The book does not try to give details of the wars, just the endings showing when and how those who fought came home.
Jackie French has crafted a wonderfully moving poem that is easy to read aloud while the illustrations by Anne Spudvilas are so poignant that they will certainly bring tears to the eyes of most of the readers that pick up this book. The joy, the desperation, the heartbreak and the loss that war brings is shown in each illustration with a great diversity of subject by the illustrator.
It will be a favourite in schools for Anzac Day and Remembrance Day resources as it is short and direct and will bring about much discussion about all the different wars to which Australia has sent people to fight, many that children will not know about.
It could act as a spring-board for further research for the Year 10 History curriculum into war and conflicts around the world.
For younger children just analyzing each picture and what the illustrator was trying to show for that war will provide some marvelous discussions in Middle and Upper Primary classes.
Teacher's notes are available. Themes: Peace, Love, World wars, Family reunion.
A great addition to this subject area for all schools and libraries.
Gabrielle Anderson

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