Left! Left! Right! Left!
We make our way in the dark.
A family are up early to attend the Anzac Day March. They leave the house in the predawn in windy wet weather. One side of each opening shows the family and the other shows an image of soldiers at war. ‘Reflection’ begins with World War I and ends with the ongoing Afghanistan conflict and the Iraq War. The text on each opening applies equally to the family and to the soldiers/conflicts portrayed. Illustrations are watercolour and ink set on biscuit-pale pages.
Most picture books on remembering war focus on a single conflict, but Reflection offers a broader view of the conflicts that Australians have been part of. Soldiers, uniforms, weapons, mourners and geography change but devastation, death and suffering links them all. Reflection offers an opportunity to remember all those affected by war, but also portrays the changing face of Australia, of the world.
Reflection allows parents, carers, teachers and others to introduce the unfathomability of war through the eyes of a family. The iconic Flanders poppy red is used throughout, providing a visual link between the wars but also connecting it to the young family. ‘Reflection’ is a succinctly worded, beautifully illustrated collection of memories and remembrances. Ideal for primary-aged readers.
Reflection: Remembering Those Who Serve in War, Rebecka Sharp Shelberg ill Robin Cowcher
Walker Books 2016
review by Claire Saxby, Children’s author and bookseller