Friday 8 May 2015

Marking the 70th Anniversary of V.E Day with a look at Usborne's fantastic range of World War 2 history books

"The Story of the Second World War" by Paul Dowswell and Ian McNee (Usborne Books)

Today, 8th May 2015, marks the 70th Anniversary of V.E (Victory in Europe) day. We've been taking a look at some of the fantastic books in Usborne's World War 2 range including a fantastic illustrated history of the war, produced in association with the Imperial War Museums. 

"The Story of the Second World War" by Paul Dowswell and Ian McNee actually takes us right back in history to the end of the First World War, as nations gathered together to sign The Treaty of Versailles. Events of the 1920s and 1930s are examined, as we gain a detailed insight into how political unrest, economic collapse and ultimately the breaking of that treaty by Germany and other Axis nations led the world towards a terrible and unimaginable conflict. 

It's actually extremely tough to get the balance right with books for a young audience when you're dealing with a subject like the second world war, and the atrocities committed in the name of nationalism and fascism as Hitler's Nazi Party and Mussolini's Italian Fascist Movement began to seize power and put their war machines into motion. 

It's testament to this fantastic book that each page spread explains events and covers the historical figures involved in a huge amount of detail without talking down to children, nor unduly distressing them. 

Charlotte was particularly impressed by the page spread detailing the brave women of the war who not only stayed behind to keep our industries and farming running, but also fought bravely in the war itself, including Lilya Litvyak, an incredible Russian female fighter pilot who shot down over a dozen enemy aircraft before succumbing to enemy fire herself in her final mission.

Lilya Litvyak, known as "The White Lily of Leningrad" - a truly gutsy and fascinating female fighter pilot
With a mix of superb illustrations and photographs, this is a hugely impressive book that we both read through together and were thoroughly absorbed by. 

"Sticker Dressing Second World War" by Lisa Jane Gillespie and Emi Ordas (Usborne Publishing)

Usborne's "Sticker Dressing" range also covers the Second World War with another brilliantly illustrated and fascinating fact-filled book detailing the uniforms and fashions of the Second World War. 

"Sticker Dressing Second World War" by Lisa Jane Gillespie and Emi Ordas is another hugely impressive book that children can get their teeth into, learning more about the war as they put together the various uniforms and scenes within. 

We spent some time with this title a while ago, with over 170 stickers to stick down covering services on land, air and sea on both sides, it's another brill addition to the sticker dressing range. 

You can check out some of Usborne's other fantastic Second World War titles in our previous post marking the 70th Anniversary of D-Day - and you can find out even more about the extensive Usborne Second World War range on their website.