Meet the Anzacs by Claire Saxby and Max Berry
Random House Australia Children's, 2014. ISBN 9780857981929. eBook
Highly recommended for children from Prep upwards. With perfect timing as we approach the centenary commemorations of World War 1 and the Anzac legend, this new picture book in the Meet . . . series (which includes Ned Kelly, Saint Mary MacKillop, Captain Cook and forthcoming Douglas Mawson) has been beautifully executed with younger readers in mind. The simple but eloquent text describes the beginning of the Anzacs as young men in Australia and New Zealand enlisted and their subsequent travels and experiences leading up to Gallipoli.
Children from around six and up will be able to grasp the sense of excitement first felt by these young men, trace through the boredom of seemingly endless training and drills and realise (without any graphic detail) the awful realisation that battle engagement brought the corps.
The inclusion of a timeline at the close of the book will provide more able readers with interesting, and calamitous, facts.
Linking to the national curriculum examining historical skills, knowledge and understanding, World War 1 and the role of key groups in Australian history and society, this would be a valuable addition to any library's Anzac collection.
Many of us have struggled in the past to find suitable material for our younger students in promoting awareness of this significant chapter in our history. This book fits the bill to a high standard.