Australia’s Great War: 1917, by Kelly Gardiner

The German planes patrolled in hunting squads. They flew fast fighting craft streaking across the sky in tight formation. The greatest of them was the Red Baron, the deadliest ace on the Front. He’d shot down twenty-one of our planes in a single month. And now we were right in his firing line.

Ace (Alex) has always been fascinated by planes, so the opportunity to work on them for the army is enough to get him to sign up for the army, even though his parents and family want him to stay home, and are against the war. Back home, his sister Maggie, is leaving school and entering the workforce, finding her voice as a young woman as she misses her brother.

1917 is the fourth title in Scholastic’s Australia’s Great War series. Set in England and the Western Front as well as home in Melbourne, the story offers one man’s experiences of the first world war, as well as tracing the opposition to the war which grew as it progressed, including the role of women including Vida Goldstein.

Both a moving, absorbing story and a useful first person insight into Australia’s involvement in World War 1.

Australia’s Great War: 1917, by Kelly Gardiner
Scholastic, 2017
ISBN 9781743622506

Red Plane to the Rescue, Melissa Firth, Cheryl Orsini, Scholastic Press

A red plane, a blue plane and a yellow plane are planning a display. Together and separately they perform their tricks. Up and down, even swapping planes, with a ‘Chucka chucka chucka, vroom vroom vroom! Zing zing zow, zoom zoom zoom!

A red plane, a blue plane and a yellow plane are planning a display. Together and separately they perform their tricks. Up and down, even swapping planes, with a ‘Chucka chucka chucka, vroom vroom vroom! Zing zing zow, zoom zoom zoom! When it looks like disaster has struck, the aerobatic team become a rescue team, bringing everyone safely into land. Illustrations are in bright, primary colours set on solid colour pages.

Imaginative play is so important for children, and Red Plane to the Rescue is a wonderful example of the heights and drama that can be achieved in play. Young children will follow the movement of the planes as the story is being read, and it won’t be long before they’re joining in the refrain. Then they’ll be flying their own planes, toy or imaginary. Teachers will have children zooming their planes all around the place. Great fun for pre- and early school-age children.

Red Plane to the Rescue

Red Plane to the Rescue, Melissa Firth & Cheryl Orsini
Scholastic Press 2011
ISBN: 9781741698534

Other titles by this duo: Frederik Goes Bananas

review by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author

www.clairesaxby.com

This title is available from good bookstores or online from RFishponde.