No one ever said being a parent is easy and discussing difficult, painful topics is definitely one of those tricky jobs no parent enjoys but they have to be done eventually (waiting for/finding the right time is key). Whether it’s the death of a special someone or a pet, a serious illness or a news segment about famine in third world countries or murder, the world is both a beautiful and a tough place to live in and I’m so glad my children are still quite young so I (hopefully) have some time up my sleeve before they start asking.
The Soldier’s Gift is a new Australian children’s book that touches on the difficult topic of the First World War in a gentle way whilst staying true to the facts. It tells the story of farm girl Emily who stays behind as her brother Tom leaves to fight in Turkey. Stationed at Gallipoli Tom sends letters to Emily describing what war is like on the front line and one time he even sends her some seeds to plant in her garden.
As time goes on the letters stop coming and eventually the sad news of Tom’s death reaches the farm, everyone is heartbroken. Emily plants the seeds and watches them grow into little plants that will later grow into Aleppo Pine trees, it’s a new beginning. The book is aimed at older children featuring traditional illustrations that show Emily and the farm, as well as realistic war images of the hurt and wounded.
To find out more about The Soldier’s Gift (RRP $26.99) by Tony Palmer and Jane Tanner, published by Penguin Books Australia, and to order online visit www.penguin.com.au.