The Anzac puppy by Peter Millett and Trish Bowles (Scholastic, March 2014).
Peter Millett, author explains that “the fictional story 'The Anzac Puppy' was inspired a by a series of true events that took place during the Great War of 1914-18.” These true events are described in a two-page spread of historical notes at the back.
Freda, a Harlequin Great Dane was a loyal, good-luck mascot, who Sam, a brave young soldier brought to the front line during WW1.
The trenches were a place of fear and horror. They were made bearable to Sam, because he had to be brave for his puppy Freda.
As time in the trenches went on Freda grew and grew. Sam endured a great deal in those trenches. Loud fighting, harrowing conditions and the loss of close friends. Sam also grew. He grew into man man who was tired of the fighting and wanted to go home...
The Anzac Puppy is an incredible story of a dog who gave a man strength and brought him through the trials of trench warfare of WW1.
As I sat in a cafe a read this book I wept. I cried for all the loss, the fear and the sadness that the war brought to all those young men, and all their families, who they left behind. I cried, because I thought of my big loving dog, and how much I believe I could ride out if I had her by my side.
This book is a reminder of burden The Great War placed on a generation and also a reminder that love endures and sustains hope.
I will be reading this book at a few children's literacy events in the coming months. I would love to see you there. If you cannot make it, I encourage you to get a copy of this wonderful little story. Read it to your kids - if you don't have kids, read it to your dog.
Author: Peter Millett
Illustrator: Trish Bowles
Title: The Anzac Puppy
Publisher: Scholastic New Zealand, 2014
About the Author
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