Best Mates by Philippa Werry and Bob Kerr
Philippa Werry knows about Gallipoli like few other writers and in this picture book portrays one of the drivers that sent men to war in 1914 and that was to be with your mates.
Harry, Joe and the narrator grew up together, rugby in the school playground and when the call to arms came they signed on together.
They saw foreign ports ate foreign foods and thought it would be a piece of cake. “those Turkish blokes won’t know what’s hit them”. History paints a different picture, Joe got sick, Harry copped one. Gallipoli was stormed, the slaughter took place then everybody left.
The old soldiers went home remembered every ANZAC day and in this book go back as old men to pay their respects to the fallen. Powerful ordinary stuff about 3 ordinary blokes.
Bob Kerr has outstanding illustrations. Simple yet detailed showing the carnage, the grief, the reality. The eyes tell it all. The joy in the play ground, the expectation as they leave on the train, the bewilderment as they pose on camels beside the Sphinx, the concern when they land on the Gallipoli Peninsula, the horror when Harry is shot and the gloom and despondency when they evacuate under a crescent moon.
Great book for children to show why we should never forget or do it again, but we will.