LANDSBERRY, Belinda Anzac Ted EK Books, 2014 A$19.99 NZ$24.99 unpaged ISBN 9781921966569 SCIS 1683246
A simple verse story with powerful, evocative illustrations that balance the loving care for a rather damaged Teddy bear against the trenches in World War I. The watercolour spreads move from full colour to sepia as the story shifts from the child and the bear at home to the impending horrors of war and back again. Ted is taken to war by the child’s grandfather and is brought home scarred but safe at war’s end. What is particularly poignant is that we come to know of the soldier’s trials, traumas and bravery only through the eyes of this cuddly mascot. This is a story of every soldier and yet every one of us as it reaches to the depths of our fears and hopes. A beautiful book based on a true story that will echo for many years. Age 5+ years but especially suitable for upper primary children as they learn about the Anzac event and other elements of World War I and indeed all wars.
reviewed by John Cohen