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Age range 9+
Stunningly illustrated in over 70 paintings, The Poppy is the true story of one of Australia's greatest victories, and of a promise kept for nearly a century.
On Anzac Day, 1918, a desperate night counter-attack in the French village of Villers-Bretonneux became one of Australia's greatest victories. A bond was forged that night between France and Australia that has never been broken.
Villers-Bretonneux is 'The town that never forgets'. What was achieved that terrible night - and what happened after - is a story that, likewise, Australians should never forget.
Buy The Poppy by Andrew Plant from Australia's Online Independent Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
Book DetailsISBN: 9781925000320
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Book Review: Poppy by Andrew Plant - Reviewed by TimH (03 Mar 2017)
The Poppy Ford Street RRP $26.95
The Poppy by Andrew Plant begins with a dark and ominous scene of a poppy field where battles in the past left many thousands of soldiers dead. A single poppy takes flight across the field and floats over the memorial at Villers-Bretonneux where French and Australian flags fly side-by-side. So begins the true story of a village that never forgets the sacrifices made by Australian soldiers freeing their country from the German invaders during World War 1.
The book’s simple message: Villers-Bretonneux never forgets and nor should we, is delivered with such pure intent and sentiment that it takes your breath away. The artwork is stunning and the text is simple enough for primary aged children, while still delivering a deep message.
As the poppy floats over different parts of the village, the story of Australia’s involvement in World War 1 is revealed. The image of the poppy becomes increasingly more powerful, as it represents the human condition at its most potent. Destruction, carnage, death, grief, sacrifice, hope, regeneration, gratitude and memory, play significant parts in this story.
Many of the paintings depict how ingrained the importance of remembering is to the people of Villers-Bretonneux and the efforts they have taken, to ensure that the soldiers are not forgotten. They are powerful and heartfelt and touch deep inside. It is a book so extraordinary and pure that I for one will always reach for, as it is has penetrated deep into my very being.
The timing is fitting as we approach the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War. One can only hope that this book becomes a standard resource in all schools. I cannot recommend it highly enough as a book teaching children the significance of remembering and its positive impact on life.
Andrew Plant is an author and illustrator of picture and education books. He has been published in Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, USA and South Korea. He has presented sessions in schools and libraries from Alice Springs to Beijing and France. He also paints murals for schools, libraries and museums, and designs and builds theatre sets. Also by Andrew Plant: The Little Dinosaur Puggle Could a Tyrannosaurus play Table Tennis? A Platypus, Probably Reign of the Sea Dragons
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