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Meaningful Books to Share This ANZAC Day

“They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old. Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we will remember them”


ANZAC Day is acknowledged on the 25th of April each year. It is a significant day in our calendar as we commemorate and honour those who have served – or are still serving – our country and remember those who lost their lives as they served. It can be a difficult topic to explain to children in an age-appropriate way. However, there are many beautifully presented picture books that tell the story of the ANZACs and the importance of the day. These are our top 5 favourites for an early years classroom.




ANZAC Ted is a powerful story about a family heirloom teddy handed down from generation to generation with a very important story to tell. Written by an Australian author, Belinda Landsberry, ANZAC Ted gives an age-appropriate view of war, with stories of soldiers leaving their families and feeling alone and scared at times. With rhyming prose and meaningful illustrations, the sacrifices of war are gently introduced to children.




This heartwarming picture book was inspired by the incredible true story of Freda, the Harlequin Great Dane, who ended up serving as the brave mascot for the New Zealand Rifle Brigade during World War I. The ANZAC Puppy tells the story of the journey of a cute little puppy named Freda, who was born in the middle of the war. Her original owner, a young girl called Lucy, was unable to keep Freda due to lack of food, so gave the puppy to a soldier heading off for war. The story follows Freda and the soldier to the trenches through years of war, with Freda being the soldiers’ lucky mascot. The story ends with a heartwarming reunion for Lucy and Freda.




Lest We Forget by Kerry Brown is a cleverly written story of a young boy and his Grandfather sharing important memories from their past. While the young boy tells of memories such as his first day of school, new sisters being born and warm walks in the sun, the Grandfather also remembers. Whilst his memories are not spoken aloud in this story, poignant illustrations show the Grandfather remembering events with a similar theme. His first day in his new army uniform, holding photos of his newborn daughter and jungle treks with wounded men on stretchers. The way this book is written is a great reflection of the sacrifices made by those who went to war.




Told through the eyes of a small girl who joins her father to watch her grandfather marching in the ANZAC parade after attending the dawn service, My Grandad Marches on ANZAC Day introduces children to the story behind ANZAC Day and the importance of traditions and remembering. Written by Catriona Hoy, this book explains what happens on ANZAC Day and its significance, in an age-appropriate way, making it a great addition to your ANZAC collection. This book is especially great to read to our foundation learners prior to attending a school run ANZAC ceremony.




The ANZAC Billy is the heartwarming story of a little boy who is packing a billy with all his father’s favourite things – added to by mum and grandma – to send across the seas to where his father is stationed in the war. It talks through all the things the family believes the father will be missing from home – touching on the sacrifices made by soldiers at war.



If you are looking for an activity to complete after reading one of these meaningful stories, we have lots of different ideas on the webby!



How do you commemorate ANZAC Day in your classroom?


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