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This simple but moving book by Heather Patterson tells how the poppy became the symbol that honours the memory of those who fought in the major international conflicts of the 20th century. The origin of the symbol is attributed to the poppy's presence on the battlefields of Europe during the First World War. It is also connected with the famous poem "In Flanders Fields," by Canadian soldier John McCrae. The words of the poem are reproduced in full. Through a series of realistic scenes, the book pays tribute to the men and women who suffered the effects of war; it helps children understand why this flower is worn so proudly on Remembrance Day every year as a sign of freedom and peace. The oil painting illustrations were created by Ron Lightburn, 1992 recipient of the Governor General's Literary Award for Children's Literature (Illustration). His rich portrayals give young readers a better understanding of war -- a difficult subject and one with serious consequences for society.
A final section presents historical information about the use of the poppy as a symbol and about Remembrance Day. Illustrations, reproductions of old postcards and period photographs provide quality visual documentation for young readers, parents and teachers.