We wear red poppies to remember our soldiers that
served in the wars.
Purple poppies are worn to represent the animals – trackers and
messengers, that served in various capacities during war.
The Dicken Medal and the Blue Cross Medal are
awarded to animals for courage and bravery.
In 2019, the 24th
February was declared National Day for War Animals by the Australian Parliament.
This day is also observed by New Zealand.
The roles of horses, mules and camels in wartime
are often spoken about.
Elephants are rarely referred to, but their strength
was invaluable in moving logs when building bridges.
Dogs were also used to carry messages through
danger zones. As they were courageous and loyal, they served as therapy dogs
and mascots for the wounded and traumatised soldiers.
The famous Australian dog, Digger, was
awarded the Blue Cross Medal for his action in taking food to injured
men during WW1.
Cats also played a large role in controlling rats
on ships. They too, were used as mascots.
Kathleen O’Hagan’s vibrant colours and bold images
fill the pages with representations of the animals that accompanied and served soldiers
The outstanding cover shows the main characters,
large and proud, walking together.
Each page owns a unique design. The end pages are covered
in magnificent purple poppies.
This is a subject that I haven’t come across before
in a picture book. Informative and poetically presented, it is well-researched and successfully showcases the animals that served in war.
Title: Wear a Purple Poppy
Author: Fiona White
Illustrator: Kathleen O’Hagan
Publisher: Hachette, $ 24.99
Publication Date: 31 January 2024
For ages: 5 – 10
Type: Picture Book