A young boy recounts the story of a toy bear that belonged to his grandfather and travelled overseas to war with the soldiers many years ago.
Before he departed for war, the young boy’s grandmother had packed the toy bear in his grandad’s suitcase “for luck.” The soft toy gave comfort to the soldiers in first aid tents and shelters and became their mascot.
When he came home with Grandad as a young soldier, the bear was no longer pretty. So the boy knows the story of “Anzac Bear” and how he got his battle scars; his torn, dirty fur, his missing ear, his wobbly head and slow legs were all a result of “encounters with the foe”.
And now when the boy takes Anzac Bear to show and tell all the children cry and some adults “roll their eyes”. Anzac Ted doesn’t win in the Toy Show Vote at school and gets not a single vote. Rather, the class ridicules Anzac Ted. “No-one knows my Anzac woes or just how brave he is.”
I couldn’t have said it any better. This sums up perfectly the way the Anzac Legend is treated in Australia today! Children are increasingly taught politically correct versions of the Anzac Legend, incorporating pacifist and incorrect views of what actually happened – versions that forget to mention to children that the Anzacs were fighting a very real enemy in Gallipoli when Turkey, including Ataturk, was highly linked and allied with Germany and all that Hitler stood for.
This book will give another view increasingly sparse but ever so important to remind children of the real heroes of Anzac.
A page of factual information is included at the end of the story mentioning that Anzac Day now includes all Australian and New Zealanders who have fought right across the many different wars, conflicts and peace-keeping efforts. We are reminded of the precious New Zealand connection and the characteristics of mateship, bravery, tenacity, audacity and endurance shared by both countries.
Read online here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ko1RtELN9AI
“Lest we forget…” this book is recommended for your children this Anzac Day, 2016.
A former children’s librarian, Jane Fagan is currently a full-time mother of two.