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The Poppy

By Andrew Plant

(2 customer reviews)


Stunningly illustrated in over 70 paintings, The Poppy is the true story of one of Australia’s greatest victories, and of a promise kept for nearly a century.

On Anzac Day, 1918, a desperate night counter-attack in the French village of Villers-Bretonneux became one of Australia’s greatest victories. A bond was forged that night between France and Australia that has never been broken. Villers-Bretonneux is ‘The town that never forgets’. What was achieved that terrible night – and what happened after – is a story that, likewise, Australians should never forget.

Cover designed by Grant Gittus.

  • Publication date:1 March 2014
  • Extent:32
  • Format:Hardcover, Paperback
  • Genre:
  • Age guide: , 9+

2 reviews for The Poppy

  1. Alison Borland

    One word that echoes in the book ‘The Poppy’ is memory – ‘Lest We Forget’. On April the 25th 1918, the village of Villers-Bretonneux where Australians fought and were victorious, even though over 1,300 lives were lost.
    What an incredible, lump in the throat recollection of the courage of our Australian soldiers, along with their allies – the Britons, Canadians, South Africans and New Zealanders. What they endured to protect the invasion of France by the Germans. The village of Villers-Bretonneux was under attack but became one of the greatest victories in Australia, thanks to our soldiers’ sacrifices.

    This village has unique bonds and connections that is shared in the book and documents the strength and collaboration between two communities and countries that are worlds apart. These connections have unanimously inspired each other from the devastation. After the village was rebuilt Australians from Melbourne and Victoria adopted the village school. It was the support of the Australian school children that helped raise the funds to re build their school. Through this successful project they united with strength and pride and the bond between France and Australian lives on today – a bond not to be broken. Who was to know that in 2009 with the devastating bushfires in Victoria that their connection was truly shared?

    The author Andrew Plant has captured the depth and heart in his story that only inspires you as you read this incredible book. A true story capturing history, sadness and involving the support of our heroic and passionate Australian soldiers. The nicely positioned illustrations are vibrant and capture the true nature of the area known as Villers-Brentonneux. This semi-documentary style book with reference page of events, highlight the facts that took place on that fateful day. With a reminder for all N’Oublions Jamais l’Australie – Never forget Australia.

    A book that needs to be in every school in Australia and be a major part of school curriculum now and in the future!

  2. Robyn Donoghue

    The Poppy by Andrew Plant begins with a dark and ominous scene of a poppy field where battles in the past left many thousands of soldiers dead. A single poppy takes flight across the field and floats over the memorial at Villers-Bretonneux where French and Australian flags fly side-by-side. So begins the true story of a village that never forgets the sacrifices made by Australian soldiers freeing their country from the German invaders during World War 1.

    The book’s simple message: Villers-Bretonneux never forgets and nor should we, is delivered with such pure intent and sentiment that it takes your breath away. The artwork is stunning and the text is simple enough for primary aged children, while still delivering a deep message.

    As the poppy floats over different parts of the village, the story of Australia’s involvement in World War 1 is revealed. The image of the poppy becomes increasingly more powerful, as it represents the human condition at its most potent. Destruction, carnage, death, grief, sacrifice, hope, regeneration, gratitude and memory, play significant parts in this story.

    Many of the paintings depict how ingrained the importance of remembering is to the people of Villers-Bretonneux and the efforts they have taken, to ensure that the soldiers are not forgotten. They are powerful and heartfelt and touch deep inside. It is a book so extraordinary and pure that I for one will always reach for, as it is has penetrated deep into my very being.

    The timing is fitting as we approach the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War. One can only hope that this book becomes a standard resource in all schools. I cannot recommend it highly enough as a book teaching children the significance of remembering and its positive impact on life.

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