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The ANZAC Puppy by Peter Millett and Trish Bowles.

January 19, 2015

anzac puppyThe ANZAC Puppy by Peter Millett and Trish Bowles. Pub. Scholastic, 2014.

It matters nought that this story of a dog who went to World War 1 with a New Zealand is true or not. Many animals were used in WW1 including dogs, horses, donkeys and pigeons and it is possible that some dogs got into the trenches.

This story was based on the Regimental mascot of the NZ Rifle brigade Freda a harlequin Great Dane. Peter Millett has given Freda’s story a very human touch. As a puppy the dog could not be kept by Lucy and her family and was given away to a young soldier on his way to fight in France.

As the war stretched on Freda grew up and became comforting to soldiers in the most dreadful of wars. Told in Peter Millett’s well paced simple dialogue and superbly illustrated by Trish Bowles water colour illustrations. The dog in the soldiers pocket is charming as is Fredas first encounter with rats.

The war scenes are as real as they can be without the gore. The presence of the dog enhances the fact that the soldiers are human beigs fighting a war that should never have happend.

The ending has the young soldier, now a man,  united with the young girl, now a woman and Freda who is something special. positive stuff.

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