Review of ‘Australia Remembers, Customs and Traditions of the Australian Defence Force‘, by Allison Paterson. Published by Big Sky Publishing March 2021. Allison Paterson is an ABIA and CBCA longlisted author and 2017 May Gibbs Children’s Literature Trust Creative Time Fellowship recipient.

This review has been organised in association with ‘Books On Tour PR and Marketing.’

This is the second book in a series that focuses on Australian military history specifically written for children aged 6-12 years.

This large format 98 page book in paperback and hardback, will be be available in book shops in time for Anzac Day. There are 12 chapters covering various aspects from Badges, Awards and Honours to Military Music, Uniforms, Mascots and Animals.

Each page has 2 or 3 break out boxes and bright large headings and photos which invite the reader to become involved. Many pages have a box titled ‘ Did You Know?’or Fast Fact! and these are in dominant colours with a variety of shapes and fonts which are very appealing and maintain interest instead of just a page of heavy text.

Many questions are asked and answered such as: Why do we wear poppies on Remembrance Day?What does the acronym ANZAC stand for? How does the sound of bagpipes make you feel? and Fast facts such as ‘ A flag at half mast is always hoisted to the top of the mast before being lowered.’

The author makes a special effort to include schools and school kids in the book by referring to customs and traditions that may be part of the culture of the school or the family.She asks for instance,  ‘Does your school or sports club have a special badge?’And ‘When do you wear a uniform and why?’

There is so much on every page but it is never boring and I found that that I also learned at lot! Did you know that after WW2 a serviceman had attempted to return to Australia with 10 goats, 220 dogs, 170 cats, 150 birds and 50 monkeys and squirrels! And do you know what ‘nose art is?

This book is a great resource for any primary school and local library and clearly outlines the customs and traditions of the Australian Defence Forces. It even has a final chapter of activities…flags and medals to make, and how to create a coat of arms