To commemorate ANZAC Day, Anstey the Library’s resident mascot thought it might be fitting to review the children’s picture book ANZAC Biscuits, by South Australian children’s author Phil Cummings.
This touching story is about an Australian family torn apart by war. Set during the time of World War I, Rachel and her mother are at home on their farm in their warm and safe kitchen, while a young soldier is miles away across the ocean in the trenches of a cold dark battlefield.
“Let’s make some biscuits for Dad,” suggests Rachel’s mother, and she and her daughter begin to mix ingredients and set about baking biscuits.
With each turn of the page the story moves back and forth, from the warm family kitchen where Rachel and her mum are baking the special biscuits, to the cold bleak battlefield where the young soldier is struggling to stay warm.
Illustrator Owen Swan has done an amazing job with his pictures. The kitchen scenes are painted in warm yellow hues which contrast with the grey illustrations of the soldier’s world. As the scenes flit back and forth some clues are given to the identity of the young soldier. The final pages reveal the young soldier to be Rachel’s father and how he is very grateful for a gift from home.
“These are the best biscuits ever … Daddy will love them, won’t he?” said Rachel. And he did.
You can borrow Anzac Biscuits from the library here. There are lots of other books on ANZAC Day as well.