#BookReview: Anzac Ted, Belinda Landsberry (author and illustrator), EK Books, March 2024.


Anzac Ted is no ordinary bear. He’s got worn patches, frayed threads, missing parts and more… but that’s because he’s got an incredible story to tell. Long ago, Anzac Ted went to war alongside Grandpa Jack. He kept the soldiers company and gave them courage, becoming a mascot who reassured them that they would make it through.


Award winning author and illustrator Belinda Landsberry brings us her special tenth anniversary edition of Anzac Ted with a tactile arlin and green and brown endpapers which reflect the courageous Anzac spirit through their uniform and badge.

Anzac Ted has been through the war literally and physically, he bears the scars to prove it with one eye bandaged and one ear missing. The story was inspired by Belinda’s husband’s old, shabby teddy, inherited from his Dad who fought in World War Two. Anzac Ted wears his battle scars with pride and Belinda takes us on a journey with him to Gallipoli and the trenches of war.

Belinda’s story is beautifully crafted through her use of rhyme and gentle watercolour illustrations and Anzac Ted is brought to life through her lyrical descriptions.

His head is kind of wobbly

And his legs are rather slow.

Perhaps it’s due to one or two

encounters with a foe!’

The young narrator attempts to wash Anzac Ted clean and take him to his school’s show and tell. But his poor old teddy gets no love here and makes his classmates cry and is mocked and ridiculed by them.

Belinda sensitively handles the topic of war through the story of how Anzac Ted went to war with the boy’s grandpa Jack. These illustrations have a brown colour palette and a nostalgic tint to them which takes the reader back in time. It also makes the history of Anzac Day and the war accessible to younger readers through the story of a brave teddy.

See Anzac was my grandpa’s

When my grandpa was a kid.

He made it through a war or two,

Just like the Anzacs did.’

Anzac Ted is packed off in a suitcase as a lucky mascot to bring his grandpa home from the war. He joins the soldiers and brings them comfort and hope during the challenges of war and being away from home and loved ones. Anzac Ted’s story is one of courage and resilience but also reminds us to be kind and to show compassion to others. Not to judge a book by its cover as the cliché goes.

I know he isn’t pretty

And some people roll their eyes,

But if they see, like you and me,

Through Anzac’s thin disguise’

This special 10th anniversary edition includes an extra page of information on the history of the ANZACS and the shared experience of ANZAC and Turkish soldiers, as well as a ‘How to draw Anzac Ted’ activity page.

If you want to make quick, easy and delicious Anzac Ted biscuits with award-winning author-illustrator Belinda Landsberry CLICK HERE!

Review by Gemma Creegan.

#anzacted #anzacday #australianwarhistory #10thanniversary #picturebooks #justkidslit

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: