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Why? A simple question with some thought-provoking, in-depth answers. Curiosity settled (or sparked!) with the help of knowledgeable expert on the subject of Australian war history – Allison Paterson! Thanks! 🙂
How often do we hear that simple word? This one-word question is a sign of an inquiring mind, a thirst for knowledge and a need to make sense of the world.
Australia Remembers 2: Customs and Traditions of the Australian Defence Force provides answers to the questions that children may ask on our major days of commemoration – Anzac Day and Remembrance Day. On many of these annual occasions, as both a teacher and a parent, I have been asked: why do they do that, and what does it mean? Kids really do ask the best questions!
Why do some soldiers wear kilts? Why do servicemen and women salute? Why do they stand with their guns pointing down?
With full-colour images sourced from the Australian Defence Force and approved by the Royal Australian Navy, Australian Army and Royal Australian Air Force, Australia Remembers 2: Customs and Traditions of the Australian Defence Force is an engaging and informative read for the young inquiring mind. The book explores the history, symbolism and significance of the colourful rituals of the ADF and can be read from cover to cover, or in short bursts. A glossary, index and contents page are included which are perfect for children who are seeking information, as are the breakout boxes which provide both fast facts and more detailed explanations. An interactive element has also been added with embedded questions on almost every double-page spread. These questions relate the content to the child’s own life and provide opportunities for reflection and discussion.
Educators will also appreciate Australia Remembers 2: Customs and Traditions of the Australian Defence Force as an ideal tool for the classroom in the lead up to Anzac Day and Remembrance Day. Throughout the creation process, I sought feedback from teachers regarding appropriate content and language choices. And … as teachers are inclined to do, I was supplied with a whole bunch of questions they’d been asked in the past and hadn’t been able to answer, like why do sailors wear white? Good question!
I did my best to answer every query. However, the most difficult part of the creation of this book was, after discovering so many interesting and historical origins, needing to consider what I could not include. My rule of thumb was those questions children ask!
As well as providing the answers, the themes of the past, commemoration, customs and symbols provide an excellent resource for these elements of the curriculum. The final pages include simple activities that can be explored at home or at school, while more extensive teachers’ notes are also available on the BSP website and via my author website.
The first in the series Australia Remembers: Anzac Day, Remembrance Day and War Memorials is ideal for introductory content prior to class or school trips to local war memorials, and the Australian War Memorial, while book 2 delves deeper to reveal some fabulous stories and connections.
Do you know why the naval hand salute is different to that of the Army and RAAF? Or why some aircraft have paintings on their noses?
More good questions!
I hope you enjoy sharing Australia Remembers 2: Customs and Traditions of the Australian Defence Force, and learn a lot too. I also hope that my books go some way to not only satisfying a thirst for knowledge, but infuse children with a sense of community service and respect for those who keep us safe.
Article by Allison Paterson.
Allison Marlow Paterson is an Australian Author who writes stories for children and adults. Allison’s writing reflects her passion for the past. In addition to creating books for adults and picture books about growing up on the farm, she is the author of the ABIA and CBCA notable title Anzac Sons: Five Brothers on the Western Front. Her 2018 release Australia Remembers: Anzac Day, Remembrance Day and War Memorials heralded a new non-fiction series, with the next – Customs and Traditions of the Australian Defence Force – out now. Allison’s first novel for young adults – Follow After Me – was created while undertaking a May Gibbs Children’s Literature Trust Fellowship.
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