I must begin this review by admitting I have a slight bias with regard to this book, more specifically with the author. I have known Phil Cummings for about 17 years, and I can say hands down that he is one of the nicest and most genuine people I have ever met. Luckily for me (and our friendship) I actually liked his new book, in fact when I was handed a copy I actually squealed!
From my book selling point of view, we get asked every year for new books on ANZAC Day that can be used with readers from age 4+. Teachers and librarians want something that they can use as a starting point to talk about the Anzac's, but they don’t necessarily want anything too graphic for the younger readers, and would like there to be enough substance for older readers...well I am happy to say that this is your book!
This is a story of a family separated by war. Mother and daughter are shown at home, while the Father is fighting in the trenches. Each double page spread alternates between home and away, and there are parallels in each illustration linking the two. An example of this can be seen on the images below.
It's a beautiful and gentle story and while the ending is a positive one I know for a fact that more that one person has needed to reach for the tissues when they read this book, so be warned.
We were lucky enough to have a visit from Phil at the shop, and he kindly had a chat with James about the new book. Here's the clip of that interview: