Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Bunny the Brave War Horse - a book review

Quote of the day:  "How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world."
                                                - Anne Frank

Today's featured book:

Title: Bunny the Brave War Horse
Author:  Elizabeth MacLeod
Illustrator:  Marie Lafrance
Ages:  6-8

Let's take a peek inside shall we?

My take on the book:

What a strange name for a horse....Bunny.  He is a strong, brave, well-trained  police horse and he has his orders to be shipped across the ocean at the beginning of WW1, as many horses were at that time. He got his name because of his elongated ears and he was a five-star general from the get-go.

Two brothers were aboard the ship that sailed across the Atlantic to Europe.  Thomas Dundas and his brother Bud had enlisted to go overseas and fight the war and Tom was very excited and happy when Bunny was to be his horse to ride into the battle.  They landed in France and then proceeded to Belgium where the war was raging and they joined in.  Together horse and owner faced many trials:  gas attacks, enemy bullets, poor shelter, miserable hygiene and shortages of rations for both man and beast.  Bunny and his horse friends proved time and time again how courageous they were by delivering messages in active war zones, surviving dangerous gas attacks and by acting as ambulances and carrying the injured and dead off the battlefield back to their fellow soldiers.  They stood strong and undaunted as the world exploded around them.  Unfortunatley Tom succumbed to the perils of war by his loss of life.  His brother, devastated by his death, had the honour of being assigned his brother's faithful steed Bunny until the war finally ended and everyone could return home.  Bunny was not allowed that privilege but remained in Belgium where he lived out his days.

The illustrations in the book are vintage, rich and filmic.  This true story is one of love and loyalty both from human to animal and vice versa.  I loved in the back of book how the author included an historical synopsis of World War 1 and the importance of the horses as they too engaged in the fight for freedom right beside their human counterparts.  This is not only a true, educational story but very moving as well.  Highly recommended.

About the author:

Liz is one nosy author, which is why she loves writing non-fiction. She’s very curious about why people do what they do, and likes sharing with kids the amazing facts and secrets that she uncovers.
As a kid in Thornhill, Ontario, the idea of being a writer never crossed Liz’s mind—she figured most authors were already dead and they definitely weren’t Canadian. Besides, it was science that interested Liz.
But writing was already part of Liz’s life. After dinner on school nights, Liz and her two brothers would trudge up to their rooms, close their doors and start to do their homework—or so their parents thought. A few minutes later, a piece of paper would come sliding under Liz’s door. One of her brothers had drawn a picture, usually of some weird creature.
Liz really couldn’t draw (still can’t!), so the only way she could respond was to write a short story, often about a mad scientist or space alien. She would slip the story under her brother’s door and—well, not a lot of homework got done.
At university, Liz studied sciences—there was hardly any writing involved at all. But after university, she was hired as an editor at OWL magazine, where she could combine writing and her love of science. But it wasn’t long before Liz had a goal: to write a book. Her first one was about lions and since then she’s written more than fifty others.
Royal Murder: The Deadly Intrigue of Ten Sovereigns (2008) is one of her favourite books because royalty has always fascinated Liz. She loved going behind the scenes with monarchs from Cleopatra to Dracula to find out just what they would do to hold onto power or protect their families.
Liz is really happy to take another look at royals and crime in the book Bones Never Lie: How Forensics Helps Solve History’s Mysteries (Spring 2013). This time the focus is on forensic techniques too, ranging from DNA testing to crime scene procedures.
Liz lives in Toronto with her husband, Paul, and their cat Cosimo. While she writes, he is usually sprawled across her desk—often right on the book she needs for research!

About the illustrator:

About: Marie is an award winning illustrator who has been drawing most of her life. Her illustrations appear in magazines, posters, newspapers, billboards, board games, picture books and her own personal favorite, boxes of jelly powder. Recently, Marie has evolved her craft from painting with brushes to creating her wonderful illustrations digitally.

Book Review Rating:  8 (Fantastic!)

Read on and read always!   Your day awaits you...... have a great one!

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