Release date: March 2018: Following on from the successful award winning Anzac Heroes is another historical book set in the battle zones during WW1 and WW2. This time read the heart-warming tales of twenty animals that went to war.
Anzac Animals includes the real story about Murphy the donkey, the hi-jinks of the monkeys on board a Navy ship and with an Australia air crew. The love and devotion of six dogs, the cantankerous nature of Mrs Rommel the cat, one horse that made it home and another that carried five men on its back to safety. There's also the bravery of two pigeons, a Red Cross dog, and the mules that brought the ammunition to the men in the battlefields. Some of their stories will make you laugh and others you'll need tissues. These animals gave service and love to the Australian and New Zealand service people when they needed it most. The stories will stay with you long after you've read them.
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After Anzac Heroes won the Elsie Locke Award for Non-fiction and the Margaret Mahy Book of the Year Award at the 2016 New Zealand Book Awards for Children & Young Adults, the Scholastic team, illustrator Marco Ivancic and myself decided we needed to follow the successful formula with another book. There had been many individual picture book stories and several chapter books about animals that had gone to war but not an illustrated book for 8-14 year olds.
We've included the WW1 and WW2 timelines and maps again, as well as historical photographs from around the world, and two double page spreads on what happened to the animals after the war. Marco has drawn some magnificent illustrations to accompany the stories. A grant from Creative New Zealand enabled me to travel to Canberra and Wellington museums and archive libraries to research the animal stories. Experts from the Army, Navy and Air Force museums, as well as award-winning historian Glyn Harper fact-checked the book.
It's been a pleasure working with the Scholastic team - Lynette Evans, Penny Scown and Sophia Broom, as well as designer extraordinaire Luke Kelly, and not forgetting the very talented Marco Ivancic. I hope you enjoy the stories, too!
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