The Bantam and the Soldier

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bantam and the soldier

BECK, Jennifer (text) Robyn Belton (illus.) The Bantam and the Soldier Scholastic (NZ), 2014 (1996) unpaged NZ$19.50 pbk ISBN 9781775432074 SCIS 1655180 

This classic picture book has been reformatted and reprinted.  It is now in a larger format with a small, but significant addition – an inner flap as part of the cover where both author and illustrator signify the personal memories of those family members who lost their lives in both the first and second world wars and dedicate the book to them.  Based on a post card from family and a photograph found during research, Jennifer Beck has woven a story of what might have been and indeed was possible.

To me, the possibility of subtlety that the text evokes is highlighted by the beautiful artistry of the illustrations.  The artwork is atmospheric and striking.  This text is a must for sharing with a class during ANZAC Day memorials.  There is some good supporting material for teachers on the TKI Literacy Online website.  Highly recommended.  John McKenzie

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