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The ANZAC Billy

written by Claire Saxby

illustrated by Mark Jackson and Heather Potter

reviewed by Kerry Neary

One way to take very young readers into wartime is to tell a story about what children did in those times. This  story follows a young boy as he fills a billy can to send to his dad on overseas service. Each day he adds another of his dad’s favourite things. Later, his mother and grandmother add more. Finally they take it to be included with all the other billy cans being sent to ANZACs on the battlefield. Will his can reach his father? The boy can’t be sure so he includes a note to the recipient that reflects the shared chaos of war.

Watercolour sketches are drawn in semi-realistic style with a vintage effect, showing remarkable domestic details of the era. The palette is an interesting choice, using colours typical of colour-worked b&w films.

Black Dog Books 2019 Hardback Picture Book $24.99 ISBN: 9781925126815

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