Christmas opens up an opportunity for adults to introduce children to the idea that remembrance can be a year-round activity. They can read and re-read stories of wartime exploits, Canadian history or remembrance and commemoration. Some books may be hard to find or have to be back ordered, so start the hunt for just the right book well in advance.
Three that have recently caught my eye are We’ll Never Forget, written by Toronto author and teacher Jean Miso with illustrations by Asher Sadeh; Proud as a Peacock, Brave as a Lion, by Jane Barclay and illustrated by Renné Benoit; and a Bear in War by Stephanie James and Harry Endrulat, illustrated by Brian Deines.
With the turn of each page, Miso’s book highlights the personal story of a member of Canada’s military opposite one of Sadeh’s arresting images of a Canadian landmark. Proceeds from the book will go to funding monuments and services to veterans, so Miso has chosen to sell it through supportive retail outlets and online.
In Proud as a Peacock, Brave as a Lion, a granddad shares his military memories—proud as a peacock in uniform, busy as a beaver on the Atlantic crossing, etc.—with a young grandchild. It was a 2010 finalist in the Blue Spruce awards. It’s available in bookstores and from the publisher, Tundra Books.
A Bear In War is based on the true story of a young girl who sent her teddy bear to help protect her father in the front lines during the First World War. The teddy and family letters were discovered in 2002 by the soldier’s granddaughter. Teddy is now in the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa. The book was a finalist in the 2009 Information Book Award category of the Children’s Literature Roundtables of Canada competition and was cited for excellence by The Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s Best Books for Kids & Teens 2009. It’s available at bookstores, and by ordering online.
Happy bedtime reading.