Wednesday 29 March 2017

Reflection by Rebecka Sharpe Shelberg

Reflection: Remembering Those Who Serve in War by Rebecka Sharpe Shelberg & Robin Cowcher has been made a CBCA Notable book for 2017.

A rather big part of me sighed when I saw this book, as I'm feeling overwhelmed and inundated by war books at the moment. The trouble is, all these lovely picture books have been put together so thoughtfully, they all approach the war story from a slightly different angle and they all have something worthwhile and relevant to say about war and peace.

Reflections is a war story very simply told. Each double page has a one sentence story that relates to what is happening across both pages - one page reflects a scene from war; it's facing page reflects a modern image of memorial.

The book begins with the Boer War and moves through WWI, WWII, the Korean War, Vietnam, East Timor, Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia and IraqII.

The final double page spread includes a brief information box about each of the wars that Australians have fought in overseas.

Robin Cowcher's illustrations in Reflections augment the style that I loved so much in Little Dog and the Christmas Wish. Her wistful mix of water colour and line drawings creates a nostalgic feel that allows the past and the contemporary to blend together visually.

I created this list of children's war books a couple of years ago. I've updated it with all the new titles. Please let me know if I've missed something obvious (especially any Australian titles or classics).

WW1 Books for Children & Teens:

(A) 1914 by Sophie Masson
(A) 1915 by Sally Murphy
(A) 1916 by Alan Tucker
(A) A Day To Remember by Jackie French and Mark Wilson
(A) And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda by Eric Bogle & Bruce Whatley
(A) ANZAC Biscuits by Phil Cummings & Owen Swan
(A) ANZAC Sons by Allison Marlow Paterson
(A) An ANZAC Tale by Ruth Starke & Mark Holfeld
(A) ANZAC Ted by Belinda Landsberry
(A) The ANZAC Tree by Christina Booth
(A) The Beach They Called Gallipoli by Jackie French
Biggles series by Cpt WE Johns
(A) The Bombing of Darwin by Alan Tucker
(A) Boys of Blood and Bone by David Metzenthen
(A) Digger the Dog Who Went to War by Mark Wilson
(A) Dont Forget Australia by Sally Murphy
(A) Evan's Gallipoli by Kerry Greenwood
(A) Eventual Poppy Day by Libby Hathorn
Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear by Lindsay Mattick
(A) Flambards (series) by K M Peyton
(A) Fromelles by Carole Wilkinson
(A) Gallipoli by Kerry Greenwood
(A) Gallipoli by Alan Tucker
(A) The Horse Soldier by Mark Wilson
(A) In Flanders Field by Norman Jorgensen
(A) Jack's Bugle by Krista Bell
(A) The Last ANZAC by Gordon Winch
(A) Light Horse Boy by Dianne Wolfer
(A) Light House Girl by Dianne Wolfer
(A) Loyal Creatures by Morris Gleitzman
(A) Memorial by Gary Crew
(A) My Father's War by Sophie Masson
(A) My Gallipoli by Ruth Stark
(A) My Mother's Eyes by Mark Wilson
(A) One Minute's Silence by David Metzenthen & Michael Camilleri
(A) Our Enemy My Friend by Jenny Blackman
(A) The Poppy by Andrew Plant
Private Peaceful by Micheal Morpurgo
(A) The Red Poppy by David Hill & Fifi Colston
Rilla of Ingleside by L M Montgomery
(A) Roly, the ANZAC Donkey by Glyn Harper
(A) A Rose For the ANZAC Boys by Jackie French
(A) The Silver Donkey by Sonya Hartnett
(A) Simpson and His Donkey by Mark Greenwood & Fran├ę Lessac
(A) Soldier Boy The True Story of Jim Martin the Youngest ANZAC by Anthony Hill
(A) The Soldier's Gift by Jane Tanner
(A) Tank Boys by Stephen Dando-Collins
War Games by James Riordan
War Horse by Michael Morpurgo
(A) When We Were Two by Robert Newton

WWII Books:

(A) After by Morris Gleitzman
(A) Angel of Kokoda by Mark Wilson
(A) Angels of Kokoda by David Mulligan
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
(A) The Blue Cat by Ursula Dubosarsky
(A) The Bombing of Darwin by Alan Tucker
(A) The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
(A) The Boy and the Spy by Felice Arena
Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne
Carrie's War by Nina Bawden
(A) Children of the King by Sonya Hartnett
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
(A) Forgotten Pearl by Belinda Murrell
Front Lines (series) by Michael Grant
Going Solo by Roald Dahl
Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian
Henderson's Boys (series) by Robert Muchamore
Hero on a Bicycle by Shirley Hughes
(A) Heroes of Tobruk by David Mulligan
(A) Hitler's Daughter by Jackie French
I Am David by Ann Holm
(A) Kokoda by Alan Tucker
(A) Little Paradise by Gabrielle Wang
(A) The Little Refugee by Ahn Do
Maus by Art Spielgelman
Milkweed by Jerry Spinelli
(A) Now, Then and Once by Morris Gleitzman
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
(A) Pennies for Hitler by Jackie French
Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr
The Silver Sword by Ian Serralier
(A) Soon by Morris Gleitzman
The Snow Goose by Paul Gallico
Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
The Wave by Rhue Morton
When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit by Judith Kerr
(A) The Wrong Boy by Suzy Zail
(A) Yoko's Diary by Paul Ham

Other Wars (Refugees & Peace):

(A) The Afghanistan Pup by Mark Wilson
(A) Amina by J L Powers
(A) The Arrival by Shaun Tan
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepytys
(A) The Bone Sparrow by Zana Frallion
(A) Bread and Honey by Ivan Southall
(A) Caesar The War Dog by Stephen Dando-Collins
The Conquerors by David McKee
(A) Emilio by Sophie Masson
(A) Flight by Nadia Wheatley
(A) I Was Only Nineteen by John Schumann
The Lotus Seed by Sherry Garland
(A) The Midnight Zoo by Sonya Hartnett
(A) My Grandad Marches on ANZAC Day by Catriona Hoy
(A) Naveed by John Heffernan
Never Fall Down by Patrica McCormick
(A) One Thousand Hills by James Roy & Noel Zihabamwe
(A) Parvana by Deborah Ellis
The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
(A) Refugee: The Diary of Ali Ismail by Alan Sunderland
(A) Refugees by David M Miller
Shadow by Michael Morpurgo
(A) Shahana by Roseanne Hawke
(A) Treasure Box by Margaret Wild
The Twelth Day of July (Sadie & Kevin series) by Joan Lingard
(A) Vietnam Diary by Mark Wilson
(A) We're All Australian Now by A B Paterson & Mark Wilson
When the Wind Blows by Raymond Briggs
Z for Zachariah by Robert O'Brien
(A) Ziba Came on a Boat by Liz Lofthouse

Read (pre-blogging days)

The lovely Louise at A Strong Belief in Wicker has also played around with a list of war books for children. Between the two of us, we've covered a lot of ground!


  1. Thanks for this list. I am going to save it to my Pinterest boards for future homeschooling years. I've got a couple of 20th Century years planned.

    1. Delighted to know that my (evolving) list will be useful to others :-)

  2. Love this list. There's another book by Mark Wilson - The Horse Soldier (WWI)

  3. Great list, Brona. Will pin this one.

  4. You might like to add The Poppy by Andrew Plant. It has teaching notes and activities.
    9781925000313 (hardcover)
    Publication date:
    March 2014 (hardcover)
    July 2014 (paperback)
    Extent: 32 pages
    Format: Portrait
    $26.95 (hardcover)
    $16.95 (paperback)
    Category: Historical Non-fiction
    Age guide: 9+


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