November 11, May 5 or any other date – many countries set aside one day a year to remember those who gave their lives for their country during a war. In the Common Wealth people often wear a poppy on their coat during November. Why? These beautiful picture books will help explain the stories of war to children and remind us not to forget.
Impressively, the following books were all written by one author: Linda Granfield. Born in the USA she is the Canadian author of many books for children including these beautiful wartime stories.
John McCrae served ‘in Flanders’ Fields’ when he wrote a touching poem during WWII. Since then his words have been memorized by generations. The beautifully illustrated picture book pays tribute to those who served and the legacy of a young soldier dealing with the horrors of war. Art by Janet Wilson. ISBN 9780773759251
The Vimy Oaks is the true story of a young soldier during World War I. Scared, lonely and frustrated, Leslie Miller mails home a handful of acorns from Vimy Ridge in 1916. Amazingly, these oaks still flourish in Ontario, Canada. A touching story about the human side of war. Illustrated by Brian Deines. ISBN 9781443148504, Scholastic
Memories of a soldier serving in Afghanistan blend with a grandfather’s memories of serving during WWII in this hardcover picture book, illustrated by Brian Deines. “This book really highlights the reality of what many soldiers have gone through during their time in Afghanistan. [It] touched my heart and brought me right back to those hot sunny days in the desert so far away from home and family.” says Master Corporal Christopher D. Russell, Canadian Forces Military Police. ISBN 9781443113564, Scholastic
So many soldiers lose their lives during a war. In the heat of battle their names and identities are sometimes lost. What if a person dies in a foreign country with no one to tend to their graves? This book looks at National Tombs of ‘unknown soldiers’ reminding us to never forget them. Complete with photos and background information boxes. ISBN 9780439935586, Scholastic
One of my favourite titles is High Flight – the beautiful poem written by another young British poet/soldier in 1941. Born in Shanghai, John Magee was only 19 years old when he wrote this poem while serving in the RCAF. ISBN 978-0887764691, Tundra Books
This book shares the recollections of over thirty men and women who served with the U.S. and Canadian forces in Korea during the years 1950-53. With a foreword by Russell Freedman, the veterans in this book represent a wide variety of army service areas, including medical, supplies, infantry, and naval. Their recollections are illustrated with their own personal photographs. The book attempts to understand the human face of war. Timeline, glossary, bibliography, Internet resources, index. ISBN 978-0618177400, Houghton Mifflin
Linda Granfield also wrote: • Where Poppies Grow, A World War I Companion (ISBN 9780773733190, Trifolium Books; • Remembering John McCrae: Soldier-Doctor-Poet. Scholastic Canada
LEST WE FORGET