The Anzac Puppy by Peter Millett and Trish Bowles
Published by Scholastic Australia
The Anzac Puppy is a beautiful and touching picture book that depicts the darkness and fear of life on the Western Front during World War I through the eyes of a young soldier and his puppy, Freda. Although dealing with one of the most troubling times in history, Millett's text and Bowles' haunting illustrations are full of life and hope. The story is told simply and with great sensitivity. Freda was the regiment's mascot, Sam's friend, good luck charm and his promise to bring her home safe gave him a reason not to give in.
One of the nicest things about The Anzac Puppy is that although the story is fictional, it was inspired by actual events. At the end of the book, the real story of Freda the Harlequin Great Dane, official mascot to the New Zealand Rifle Brigade regiment is told. Stories like this should not be lost to history. They need to be retold and kept alive and this story ensures Freda's life will not be forgotten.
The Anzac Puppy is highly recommended and an excellent resource that could be used by schools during annual Anzac celebrations. It is suitable for both infants and primary aged students.
CKT Book Reviewer
Author: Peter Millett
Illustrator: Trish Bowles
Title: The Anzac Puppy
Publisher: Scholastic Australia
Published: March 2015