The soldier slips the pine cone into his pocket. It is a reminder of this sad day.
Then he keeps searching for his brother.
As he searches for his brother on the battlefield after the Battle of Lone Pine, a soldier finds a pine cone. He pockets it, and later sends it home to his mother. Bereft at the loss of one of her boys, the mother plants seeds from the cone, two of which grow into saplings. Determined to help people remember the Battle and the soldiers who died, she sends one tree to Inverell, where her sons grew up, and the other to Canberra. Nearly 100 years later one of those trees still survives in Canberra. In Inverell, a tree planted from the seeds of the first grows.
Lone Pine is a touching reminder of the events of Lone Pine, and of the true story of how a mother commemorated her lost son, and all who fell in that battle. It is also a reminder of the personal and national impact of war. The story manages a gentle balance between the horror of war, the sorrow of those left behind and the importance of remembering, and the illustrations, in chiefly sombre tones mirror the serious nature of the topic, with lovely touches of light offering hope, especially in th beautiful final spread showing the tree which has weathered many storms to survive. This spread is also used as a lovely contrast to the opening spread which shows the tree against a black stormy sky being thrashed by a storm. Back of book notes offer information about the battle, the trees and the family on which the story is based.
Lone Pine, by Susie Brown & Margaret Warner, illustrated by Sebastian Ciaffaglione
Little Hare 2012
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