Oh my, this is the most touching story. ANZAC Biscuits is one of those picture books that should be read by the young and old – it has much to offer.
Phll Cummings adopts a dual narrative – each double page switches from Rachel and her mother in their kitchen, to Rachel’s Dad who is fighting in the war – referred to as ‘the soldier’.
Rachel and her mother busy themselves making ANZAC biscuits, in the kitchen. The language is light and fun filled describing their antics as they prepare their home cooked gift.
Each double page focusing on the soldier picks up on an element from the cosy kitchen – the crash and bang of pots and pans becomes the ‘bang bang’ of gunfire shots for the soldier. The warm smoke touched kitchen with its delicious aromas from the fireplace, becomes the ‘choking smell’ of ‘angry guns’.
Cummings uses structure brilliantly here, this would be a great book to utilise in story crafting activities.
The poetic overtones to Cumming’s language choices are a real highlight, and they are matched perfectly by Owen Swan’s illustrations. The delicate soft lines reflect the tone of the narrative. They sweep the reader through the alternate scenes of the soldier, then the warm home.
ANZAC Biscuits is wonderful way to remember ANZAC Day, it offers many discussion points both relating to the subject of war and the use of language.