Sunday, 8 May 2016

Reflection: Remembering Those Who Serve in War

Reflection: Remembering Those Who Serve in War, by Rebecka Sharpe Shelberg, illustrated by Robin Cowcher (Walker Books)
PB RRP $ 24.99
ISBN 9781922179050

Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis

This stunning picture book on Anzac Day is a tribute to those who serve, and served, in war. The cover is outstanding as are the illustrations by Robin Cowcher in pen and ink, with watercolours washes. The ochre shaded cover and light colour pages are extremely effective with the media used. It’s obvious that a great deal of consideration and care has gone into the presentation of this book and the messages it carries.

The text is moving and fully engages all the senses. It is a dual depiction; one showing the people’s participation in remembrance, and the other from the soldiers’ activities in various wars. This is an exceptional book in every way. The watercolour washes bring something unique to the story. The meaningful use of red is perfect.

I loved that all the wars are addressed on a double page spread at the end. This is extremely significant to the whole book.

There is an author’s note about how the ideas came about. It serves to remind us about the importance of our commemorative services and the price of freedom.

The illustrator’s note reveals how the dual experiences were linked and the challenges faced in translating this significant work.

This book will be the ideal project resource for young people looking to learn about our servicemen and women who took part in war. There will be discussions around the content which will create a deeper interest that will initiate further research. It’s a beautiful book worth having and giving, for all ages.

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