Saturday is ANZAC Day.

ANZAC stands for:
Australian and
New
Zealand
Army
Corps

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the landing in Gallipoli. There have been movies, TV shows, books, and events all happening to mark this anniversary. Here at the library we decided to get involved in a number of ways. We’ve had our ANZAC100years blog going for a few months. We have been collecting poppies for display, or making them during the school holidays.

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In addition to that, this week we are commemorating the 100th anniversary with ANZAC themed Storytime sessions all week. And to kick us off my Storytime blog is going to be about ANZAC Day this time.

We, as a library, feel that ANZAC Day is hugely important as I’m sure you’ve noticed when you’ve visited our branches recently. At Storytime we feel that it is an opportunity to introduce this topic to children who may not yet be familiar with it. It’s about awareness of this important part of the Australian (and New Zealand) national identity.

When preparing for this Storytime I spent a great deal of time reading books for young children on the topic of ANZAC Day and today I’m going to share with you the ones I felt were the most suitable.

ANZAC Ted by Belinda Landsberry

‘ANZAC Ted is a scary bear’ the first line of this book reads but as I still have my beloved Pinky (can you guess what colour he is?) he looks to me to be well loved. But we learn through this quite lovely rhyming book that Anzac Ted went off to war with Grandpa and kept he and his mates safe. This is a sweet book about how people (and teddy bears) come back from war a little damaged but with lovely soft illustrations that bleed to brown when looking back at the time of war, the book manages to deal with the topic in a way that ends quite happily and is understandable by children at a Storytime age.
We all know war doesn’t end well for so many and Anzac Ted is changed but he comes back and is loved and when you look at him you know he must be a hero.

My Grandad Marches on ANZAC Day by Catriona Hoy & Benjamin Johnson

My Grandad Marches on ANZAC Day

On ANZAC morning the little girl in our story wakes up early and drives in the dark and the cold to wait at the War Memorial for the Dawn Service. Then they find a spot in the crowd because her Grandad marches on ANZAC Day.
During the march there is a very poignant line about her Grandad remembering when he was young, and that he marches for all his friends who can’t march. And he marches for us.
And her Grandad might not have been in Gallipoli but he marches for all of the service men and women that came before and will come after and it is important for her to know so that she can march when he is gone and remember for him. This is very relevant as a great number of children have parents or grandparents who march and they, themselves, might march as well.

Personally, I am planning on reading Why Are They Marching, Daddy? compiled by Di Burke. But I’ve done a blog on that before and I think this is such an important part of ANZAC Day that it can’t hurt to have more than one book on the topic.

My last book is ANZAC Biscuits by Phil Cummings

ANZAC Bisuits

ANZAC Biscuits are perhaps the easiest way to get children involved in ANZAC Day.
This book told on alternating pages as the story of a soldier off at war, and a young girl and her mother at home making biscuits, ties in what ANZAC biscuits mean, and especially what they meant to the soldiers fighting in the First World War.

And for anyone keen to make some biscuits there is more information on our blog post about the Great Success Library ANZAC Biscuit Bake Off.

Rhymes

When it comes to rhymes we struggled to think of what we could use but in the end we thought you could choose to be very Australian with something like Waltzing Matilda:

Once a jolly swagman camped by a billabong,
Under the shade of a Coolibah tree,
And he sang as he watched and waited till his billy boil,
You’ll come a Waltzing Matilda with me.

Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda,
You’ll come a Waltzing Matilda with me,
And he sang as he watched and waited till his billy boil
You’ll come a Waltzing Matilda with me.

Down came a jumbuck to drink at that billabong
Up jumped the swagman and grabbed him with glee,
And he sang as he shoved that jumbuck in his tucker bag
You’ll come a Waltzing Matilda with me.

Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda,
You’ll come a Waltzing Matilda with me,
And he sang as he watched and waited till his billy boil
You’ll come a Waltzing Matilda with me.

Up rode the squatter mounted on his thorough-bred
Down came the troopers One Two Three
Whose that jolly jumbuck you’ve got in your tucker bag
You’ll come a Waltzing Matilda with me.

Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda,
You’ll come a Waltzing Matilda with me,
And he sang as he watched and waited till his billy boil
You’ll come a Waltzing Matilda with me.

Up jumped the swagman sprang in to the billabong
You’ll never catch me alive said he,
And his ghost may be heard as you pass by that billabong
You’ll come a Waltzing Matilda with me.

Waltzing Matilda Waltzing Matilda
You’ll come a Waltzing Matilda with me
And his ghost may be heard as you pass by that billabong
You’ll come a Waltzing Matilda with me.

Or you could get the kids up and moving by doing The Ants Go Marching:

The ants go marching one by one.
Hoorah! Hoorah!
The ants go marching one by one. Hoorah! Hoorah!
The ants go marching one by one;
The little one stops to suck his thumb,
And they all go marching down into the ground
To get out of the rain.
Boom, boom, boom, boom!

The ants go marching two by two.
The little one stops to tie his shoe,

The ants go marching three by three.
The little one stops to climb a tree,

The ants go marching four by four.
The little one stops to shut the door,

The ants go marching five by five.
The little one stops to take a dive,

The ants go marching six by six.
The little one stops to pick up sticks,

The ants go marching seven by seven.
The little one stops to pray to heaven,

The ants go marching eight by eight.
The little one stops to rollerskate,

The ants go marching nine by nine.
The little one stops to check the time,

The ants go marching ten by ten.
“THE END!!”

Craft

After a lot of playing around I managed to make a slouch hat.

kids slouch hat LGE

The template I came up with is Slouch hat template here.

What you will need:
– template printed on A3 paper,
– brown/green/tan crayons or pencils,
– scissors, glue, and sticky tape.
– A rising sun emblem which can be found on the internet.

What you need to do:
– Cut out page two of the template cutting out only around the outside of the circle.
– Fold the circle in half and cut in from the centre to the outside of the inner circle. This will create little triangles that can be used to secure the brim to the top of the hat.

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– Cut out page one of the template.
– Pulling the two points created when you cut out one of the side arches together staple them and then repeat on the other side. This will give the top of the hat its shape.

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– Place the top of the hat over the brim and secure each of the triangle flaps into the top of the hat to hold them together.
– Fold up one side for the typical slouch look, and
– Glue on a rising sun.

And you have your own slouch hat.

If you have anything you’d like to share with us about your ANZAC day books or anything else please comment below.