So, this is the last of my recent book fair purchases and the last of my current stack of “how the hell do you make a children’s book out of that?” books. I picked it up because, well, how the hell do you make a children’s book out of that? (Adorable animal friend, if you’re wondering - that’s the answer. An adorable animal friend - in this case, Duffy the Donkey. Look at you go with your little headband, Duffy. Well done, sir.)
But, wait a second… Jack is a stretcher-bearer. That means he saw a lot of action and blood and shooting and horrible things. How… with the children and the terrifying them…
Well, okay. I guess that’s one way to convey the scope of a battle without, you know, actually traumatizing children or whatever. That’s cool.
But… certainly people got hurt and even died here, right? I mean, this is war. People - even donkeys - die in war. Again with the “how?”…
Aw, hell. Hell.
So, despite being based on one of the least cheerful stories ever, this is still a really interesting presentation for an audience that might not automatically line up with the topic. It’s a fairly basic narrative - even the big reunion aspect that’s touted in the cover material and was teased in the first pages really happens in like two lines with no real recognition (spoilers!) - but there’s still a lot here.
And we all know I’m a sucker for end notes like this. Hello, further information about this story - hello there. You’re amazing. Well done.
Awww, Fisher Price My First Battle Map. Yay.
So, this story is brief but kind of lovely. I’m still at a total loss about how this would work for actual children, largely because I don’t understand children and no one will trust me to borrow theirs (like, seriously. I offered to put together a multimedia presentation on shell shock for scullywolf's tiny people and suddenly I'm banned from the house. Whatever. I wasn't going to make actual mustard gas, Sude, you terrific spoilsport you.) Would this really be a bedtime story option - like, “Okay, kids - let’s settle down and have one story before bed. Let’s see… you can have Goodnight Moon, Paddington Bear orrrrr, oh! I know! A story about war and death and the protagonist getting shot in the heart. Sweet dreams!”
I mean, I’m not particularly concerned with the answer to that question - I like it and think it’s pretty cool. I am tempted, though, to put together a stack of the weirdest children’s books possible for whatever friend/relative has a baby next. I think little B.F.J. would like a stack of books like this, right, Sude?