It’s hard to believe that November is here. I always feel that our beautiful fall days have gone by just a little too quickly. The days are getting shorter and the air more chilly. For me, it is a bit of a quiet time before the busyness of the Christmas season.
Of course, it is also a time for remembrance. Remembrance Day was always an important day in our house. My grandfather had served during WWII, but it is only as I have gotten older that I have come to appreciate more fully the sacrifices that were made by many Canadian families when their loved ones went off to war.
For many children, Remembrance Day can be hard to understand. Sometimes the right book can help build that understanding. Two books worth reading to children are A Bear in War and In Flanders Field: The story of the poem by John McCrae.
A Bear in War, written by Stephanie Innes and Harry Endrulat and illustrated by Brian Deines, is a touching story told from the viewpoint of a small teddy bear. The bear belongs to a young Canadian girl, Aileen, who sends her beloved teddy to her father who is on the front lines during World War I. The book was inspired by the true story of “Teddy” who traveled from the family farm in East Farnham, Quebec, across the Atlantic to Europe to be with Lieutenant Lawrence Browning Rogers.
In Flanders Fields: The story of the poem by John McCrae is written by Linda Granfield and illustrated by Janet Wilson. In Flanders Field is a poem that many Canadians are familiar with, recited during Remembrance Day services throughout the country on November 11. John McCrae was a medical officer during WWI and wrote the poem after experiencing the death of a close friend. The book describes details of McCrae’s life and the first World War.