With Halloween behind us, there are only a few school days before Remembrance Day. There are many books we can share in our classes to help children understand the significance and importance of this day and why we remember the men and women from all wars who have given their lives for our freedom. Some literal, some symbolic, some fictional, some factual – here are my top Remembrance Day books for reading and sharing with students:
I love the inter-generational theme of this book as a young boy asks his grandfather questions about the war. A perfect book for younger students that quietly honors the brave men and women who have fought for our freedom.
Moving text and stunning illustrations by Governor General’s Award-winning artist Ron Lightburn explains the symbolism behind the poppy. Bonus 5 page spread all about poem “In Flanders Fields” and Canada’s peace-keeping practices.
Why do we wear a poppy on Remembrance Day? Against all odds, in a day when women had few rights and opportunities Moina Belle Michael almost single-handedly launched a national campaign to establish the red poppy as the symbol of sacrifice and courage of America’s soldiers. Gorgeous illustrations.
A tribute to the famous World War I poem, “In Flanders Fields”. Informative and moving, weaving the words of the poems with fascinating information and stunning illustrations. This is the 2015 special edition that marks 100 years since the poem was written and includes additional information and a new cover.
A powerful, moving allegorical tale intended for older students. This modern fable is about peacocks and swans who allow the fear of their differences to become so great that they end up destroying each other. An excellent book for inferring and for text-to-world connections.
A frog picks a flower; a mouse wants it… and so begins this simple, profound tale about how war starts and ends. This wordless picture book is one I have shared with many classes – perfect for practicing inferring and stimulating important discussions.
This poignant book has many layers of meaning but ultimately, it is the story that shows the humanity behind war. Two soldiers, each in their own solitary bunker, wonder what the other is doing and eventually learn they are more alike than they are different. Simple but oh, so powerful.
The word “No” repeated three times is the only written text in this otherwise wordless book with a powerful message. In simple terms that anyone can understand, McPhail tackles the weighty subject of war and its effects on people. What’s more, he shows us what we can do to stand up and say NO.
This is a very sad picture book that tells the true story of a tragedy at the Tokyo zoo during World War II and the painful decision one zoo-keeper has to make. This story really shows the impacts of war not just on humans, but on animals. Warning – Kleenex required.
What does peace feel like? Sound like? Look like? An anti-war message told subtly through the five senses using similes and metaphors. Great anchor book for writing!
Blowin’ in the Wind is a popular song during Remembrance Day assemblies. Bob Dylan wrote the powerful lyrics to this iconic 1960’s song in 10 minutes; Jon Muth’s illustrations are stunning. Together they create a wonderful way to introduce this message of protest, peace and freedom to younger students.
What books do you share with your students for Remembrance Day?
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