Friday, October 9, 2015
ReadItDaddy's First Book of the Week - Week Ending 9th October 2015 - "Flo of the Somme" by Hilary Robinson and Martin Impey (Strauss House Productions)
Posted by ReadItDaddy at 9:30 AM Labels: Book of the Week 2015, Children's Picture Book, Flo of the Somme, Hilary Robinson, history, Martin Impey, Paperback, Strauss House Productions
We're completely in awe of the fine work that Hilary Robinson and Martin Impey have put into their fantastic books based on The First World War. Previously they've chronicled an amazing true story of "The Christmas Truce" early on in the conflict, and have also brought home the importance of remembrance in "Where the Poppies Now Grow".
They have now focussed attention on The Battle of the Somme - one of the most terrible and tragic battles of the whole conflict, resulting in a huge loss of life on both sides.
The story this time touches on an aspect of the war that is sometimes overlooked, but is nonetheless a vital and important part of the conflict's history. Many animals were used on both sides, from pack animals and horses who were required for moving personnel, supplies and heavy armaments around the battlefield, to carrier pigeons who were vital to communications on both sides and also dogs who were used for various duties including carrying medical supplies and also a vital boost to morale.
"Flo of the Somme" tells the story of a medical rescue dog who would often run into battle carrying medical kits, through treacherous terrain and often under enemy fire. Working with an ambulance driver named Ray, brave Flo becomes a vital part of the war effort.
"Mercy Dogs" were a real part of the conflict and on both sides medic dogs would be used to reach wounded soldiers, with their keen senses and swiftness making them ideal for relief duties.
|A British Border Collie "Mercy Dog"|
|German Shepherds were used extensively as "Mercy Dogs" on both sides because of their strength and agility|
|The "Animals in War" memorial in Park Lane, London|
Charlotte's favourite bit: The wonderful closing scene of the book (very very difficult to read without a lump in your throat).
Daddy's favourite bit: Once again, Hilary and Martin have produced a beautiful book reminding us that even in our darkest hour, hope could take the most unexpected form. A timely and vital reminder of how important animals were to the war effort and how many animal lives were lost during the terrible conflict.
(Kindly sent to us for review by Strauss House Productions)
"Flo of the Somme"
Written by Hilary Robinson
Illustrated by Martin Impey
Published by Strauss House Productions
Release Date (Paperback): 15th October 2015