REVIEW: ANZAC – The Story Of A Little Goat by Jacque Duffy

Published: 1st April 2015

Publisher: Itchy Emu Press

Pages: 32

Format: Soft cover picture book – purchased

RRP: $15.95

5/5 Stars 

A picture book about a little goat and his perseverance and determination to find love. This is not a traditional ANZAC story but an engaging story that mirrors the qualities of our original ANZACs and will encourage discussions in the classroom and home.

Being a prize in a two-up game on ANZAC Day gave this young goat a name; but his undertakings to become part of a family are shunned until an unlikely visitor arrives. Anzac, as his name suggests is brave, persistent and resilient when facing adversity. The visual story contains many clues to how Australians and New Zealanders commemorate ANZAC Day with an author’s note on the last page. Teachers’ notes are available and include subjects such as what ANZAC Day means, important figures of WW1, animals of war (working and mascot), friendship, and mateship.

ANZAC is a fun but thought provoking picture book intended for children 5-10years, easy reading.

Last year Australian author Jacque Duffy crowd-funded this book to get it published. Loving the concept and knowing the author thanks to previous years RWA conferences, I was all too eager to help out and I purchased two of these delightful little picture books and I’m so glad that I did.

After being won in a game of two-up, a little goat named ANZAC was sent to live on a cow farm. Finding the cows to be unfriendly mob, he decides to try his luck with the family in the big house. Naturally, a goat moving into your house would be a reason for concern, and ANZAC tries his hardest to do everything he can to make the family not only like him, but love him to no avail. Pushed into the barn, sad little ANZAC awaits the visit of the town’s butcher only to find himself an unlikely alley.

I highly commend author and illustrator Jacque Duffy on this book. Not only is the narrative engaging and moving, but the illustrations are simply divine. Her passion for her craft and the subject matter really shine through with this book and it’s simply a delight to hold in your hands.

What’s more, Jacque Duffy has masterfully crafted a story that is so much more than first meets the eye. On the page we have a story about a goat trying to fit in and eventually find it’s place in the most unlikely of places. But the Goat’s name, and the post-war setting of the book add an extra dimension to the narrative, bringing in a larger and more subtle ANZAC narrative. Like the soldiers fighting in the wars, this little ANZAC Goat has a real sense of fight and determination that leads him not to give up no matter how hard the battle looks and as we all know, the ill-fated ANZAC campaign fought in Gallipoli was very much grounded in this. It also includes a number of references as to the traditional services and celebrations that are held to remember and honour our fallen soldiers.

ANZAC is an adorable little story that is ideal for young kids. It’s a perfect book to approach the topic of ANZAC Day with younger children in mind as the book isn’t violent in it’s approach, nor does it brush over the significance and the impact the ANZAC Troops still have on modern Australian society.

Overall Jacque Duffy has managed to create a rather unique tale within a very strict market, that will appeal to readers of all ages, but especially young children. ANZAC: The Story of a Little Goat is a beautifully presented representation of the ANZAC experience and would make a fantastic addition to any child’s library.

To learn more about Jacque Duffy and her work, visit the following websites:

Jacque’s website | Facebook | Goodreads

To purchase a copy of ANZAC: The Story of a Little Goat, visit the following online retailers:

Jacque’s website | Angus & Robertson Bookworld |

2016aww

 

 

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