Dreaming Soldiers, a book review

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Title: Dreaming Soldiers
by: Catherine Bauer
illustrated by: Shane McGrath
Publisher: Big Sky Publishing

Jimmy and Johnno are best mates. The two young friends do everything together, sharing adventures and growing up side by side in the dust cattle yards on an Australian Outback Station. When World War 1 strikes, the head overseas to fight on the battlefields of the western Front. Two boys from different cultures. A friendship for life.

Author, Catherine Bauer, has penned a superb picture book based on the lives of Jimmy Watson (an Indigenous Australian) and Johnno Hogan, at an Australian Outback Cattle Station in 1914. We follow the boys’ carefree and fun childhood, where they solidify their friendship as they navigate waterholes, camping, horse-riding, fly swishing, listening to dreamtime stories and the forever words from Johnno’s mum, ‘Don’t you two get into trouble!’
But as Jimmy and Johnno get older, the best friends are separated as Johnno attends ‘big school’, then university. However, each holiday break, Jimmy and Johnno were always reunited, returning to carefree days of friendship and fun.

One day, when Jimmy and Johnno go to town for supplies, they enlist for the Australian Army. ‘Don’t you two get into trouble!’ a teary-eyed Mrs Hogan said. And then they were gone. As the reader turns the following pages, the reality and darkness of war sets in. And there you will see Jimmy and Johnno together, best mates, looking out for each other so they don’t get into trouble.

Illustrator, Shane McGrath, has portrayed the spirit of each page with depth, reflecting the mood of the text. His artwork is divine as he captures the strength of Jimmy and Johnno’s friendship.

I love stories like this one, breaking boundaries, breaking fear of the unknown because of skin colour, helping others to see each person, not by their colour, but by their kindness and empathy for others. We all matter.

Catherine Bauer has included an important information page titled, ‘Indigenous Australians at War’ after the last page of the story. It’s an absolute must read.

Dreaming Soldiers is filled with well-chosen words, but there is one sentence in the story that is most poignant. It reads like this: But this time was special too because, for the first time, Jimmy was treated just like everyone else.

Dreaming Soldiers is most certainly in my top five Anzac Day and Remembrance Day books to read to children and students.

Teacher Notes: Dreaming Soldiers by Catherine Bauer Teacher Notes

Purchase a copy: Big Sky Publishing – Dreaming Soldiers

Title: Dreaming Soldiers
by: Catherine Bauer
illustrated by: Shane McGrath
Publisher: Big Sky Publishing Big Sky Publishing
ISBN: 9781925675535
Subject: Children, WWII
Pages: 32

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Reviewed by Julieann Wallace
(Dip T, B. Ed, Author, Illustrator, Tea Ninja, Cadbury Chocolate Annihilator)
https://www.facebook.com/julieannwallaceonethousandwords/
https://www.julieannwallaceauthor.com/

Julieann is a published author and illustrator who is continually inspired by the gift of imagination and the power of words. When she is not disappearing into her imaginary worlds as Julieann Wallace – children’s author, or as Amelia Grace – YA and fiction novelist, she is working as an editor, book designer, and book magician for other authors. Julieann is a self-confessed tea ninja and Cadbury chocoholic, has a passion for music and art, and tries not to scare her cat, Claude Monet, with her terrible cello playing.

The Colour of Broken new cover again

Julieann is a member of:

Glitch, book review

glitch

Title: Glitch
by: Michelle Worthington
illustrated by: Andrew Plant
Publisher: Ford Street Publishing

Glitch spends his life searching through mountains of mouldy mess at the dump. He wants to make the fastest billycart ever. This year, he will be competing in the Big Race! but will his twitch stop him from winning?

Poor Glitch. He has either got anxiety with low self-esteem, or has been affected by the toxic rubbish at the dump. He is a trembly, twittery, twitchy kind of bug. It doesn’t matter though, as Glitch is rather clever. Where we see rubbish to be buried in all its ugliness, Glitch sees potential and treasure to use in his grand billycart designs. And he is the best in the business!

Except … he has never finished a race.

This year, Glitch’s billycart is very fast. But on the test run, disaster strikes. The driver, his friend June, is hurt and can no longer be the driver. It’s now up to Glitch to take over driving his billycart.

He really doesn’t want to do it. He gives June all sorts of excuses. Underneath it all he’s scared. June listens carefully to Glitch and shares some wisdom with him, ‘Don’t let being scared stop you. It means you’re about to do something brave!’

‘Ready, set, go!’ The race is on…

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Illustrator, Andrew Plant has pictured the dump with all its smells, rubbish, gloom and doom with precision. So well in fact that he pulls you into the story like you are there at the dump with Glitch and June, feeling every emotion with the characters.

Glitch is a wonderful book written by Michelle Worthington, to inspire and encourage children to step out of their comfort zone and to be brave. It is also a book about recycling and imagining other uses for things we throw away. Most of all, Glitch is a story of friendship, even when the going gets tough. Everyone needs a friend who believes in them.

Purchase a copy: http://www.michelleworthington.com/bookstore.html

Title: Glitch
by: Michelle Worthington
illustrated by: Andrew Plant
Publisher: Ford Street Publishing
ISBN: 9781925272710 (paperback)
Category: children’s
Pages: 32

julieann

Reviewed by Julieann Wallace
(Dip T, B. Ed, Author, Illustrator, Tea Ninja, Cadbury Chocolate Annihilator)
www.facebook.com/julieannwallaceonethousandwords/
https://www.julieannwallaceauthor.com/

Julieann is a member of:
Queensland Writers Centre
Write Links
Share Your Story Australia