A Day To Remember by Jackie French and Mark Wilson

Jackie French is prolific…ubiquitous even.

It feels like every section of the bookshop has a Jackie French title in it – junior fiction, teen, younger readers, board books, non-fiction, reference, picture books, the novelty section even gardening!

Certainly it wouldn’t be a CBCA shortlist without a Jackie French title (or two) in its ranks.

A Day To Remember is a non-fiction picture book written by French and illustrated by Mark Wilson.

It has been shortlisted for the illustrators award so I will try to focus on the pictures. But as with all good picture books for children (fiction or non-fiction) the text and the illustrations go hand in hand.

In various interviews I’ve read, Wilson has said that he is influenced by Australian Impressionist painters like Frederick McCubbin and Arthur Streeton. You can see this influence play out in A Day to Remember in particular.

There’s a classic Australian feel to the landscapes with lots of earthy colours in use. The figures are engaged with their drawn environment. Wilson uses pop out boxes and inserts to highlight important features from the story.

French uses a diary format which follows Anzac Day from its beginnings in Gallipoli to our modern services and ceremonies. She shows us how the various traditions started and she talks about what Anzac Day means to our society today.

This book will become an important part of the history, traditions and community aspects of the primary school curriculum.

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