Wearing the Poppy


Wearing the Poppy

By A.J. Toledo

ISBN13: 9781869507749

RRP $19.99

Recommended Readership: 9-12 years




Wearing the Poppy is a poignant and fascinating account of how the red poppy came to symbolize a lost generation.

Why do New Zealanders wear red poppies on ANZAC Day?

What is ANZAC Day all about?

Why does a flower mean so much to so many people?

The moving story of the first ANZACs is told through the experiences of one family, whose letters, diaries and memories bring to life New Zealand in the First World War.

Wearing the Poppy is a fully illustrated book that fills the gap in knowledge of ANZAC day for young New Zealanders who are discovering their own family history.  A.J. TOledo brings to life the ANZAC story through a beautiful and touching account of her own family's involvement in the First World War.

'It all began with two photographs on my grandmother's dressing table.  I knew one of them: my mother's brother.  The other photo was decades later; it was black and white with yellowed edges, and of a very similar-looking man.  "That's Uncle Jock," Nana would say.  "He died in France, in the First World War."

As the years went by, I felt sad that a photo and a couple of sentences seemed to sum up a man's life.  I began asking wuestions, ones I wished I had asked when more people were around to answer."


About the Author

A.J. Toledo has been interested in war history since reading prisoner of war 'escae' stories from her father's bookshelf, starting with The Colditz Story by Pat Reid when she was nine.  She resides with her husband, son, cat and many uninvited rabbit guests in Franklin District.  Like the Elephant's child in Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories, A.J. is full of an insatiable curiosity which led her to explore her family's involvement in the First World War.



A.J. Toledo explains ANZAC day and the wearing of the red poppy through a personal account of her own family's experiences in World War I.

The photographs and documents throughout Wearing the Poppy help the young reader relate to the history lesson by giving faces, names and personalities to the ANZACs we are commemorating on our national day of rememberance.

Rather than the more common black, the text is presented in a teal/green colour and in variety of fonts.  Likewise, the black and white images are also in shades of teal/green and are accentuated by red poppies throughout the book.  This makes the book visually and aesthetically interesting at the same time as delivering it's valuable message.

Every New Zealand family should own a copy of Wearing the Poppy.



Reviewed by: Franciska



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