Today’s the day we Remember…
Yesterday though, I wasn’t convinced that the little people in our house (the actual ones, not just the biscuit kind) really understood what that means… Having given them a few coins for their poppies last week they have been coming home gradually more adorned and yesterday they bounded out of school with with stick-on poppies, poppy slap-on bracelets, poppy friendship bracelets and even poppy key rings (they don’t even have keys yet…) So I felt we should make sure they’re not just treating their purchases as a novel excuse to skip off to the school office and buy new stuff…
Thankfully we got our mitts on a copy of Richard Brassey’s THE STORY OF WORLD WAR ONE and I’m really grateful for it because Brassey’s approach to telling this particular story is infinitely better than mine and not just because he does it with full-colour illustrations. This book is awesome — it gripped the little poppy-wearers from the beginning. They already had some knowledge of the wars and what Remembrance Day means but things got much more meaningful with this book.
Brassey covers the story from the moment Gavrilo Princip shot Archduke Franz Ferdinand (this is where the slap bracelet stopped being slapped) and takes us right through to the moment John McRae was inspired to write ‘In Flanders Fields’ (and this is where little hands took to studying their poppies in silence).
The story is told in accessible yet thorough detail and the full-colour illustrations are great.We get some great nuggets of information about motivations, warfare, attitudes, women, weapons, tanks, zeppelin construction and health and medicine during WW1 — and we particularly loved the maps and the cross-section detail of the trenches.
So now my little poppy-shoppers go to school this morning with a much better understanding about what their floral tributes mean. Thank you Richard Brassey!
Other interesting things:
You’d have to be around seven to read this independently, but anyone from the age of 5 would get an enormous amount from it being read with them.