One of our Books of the Year 2014 It was Christmas Day in the trenches in France during World War One and a remarkable football match took place. British and German soldiers put down their weapons and took up a game of football instead. For one day, the enemies are friends: they talk and play instead of fighting. But, the war isn’t over and next day they pick up their weapons and the lads from Suffolk are ordered to go over the top…An astonishing story beautifully told in words and pictures…
Winner of the prestigious Smarties Prize, this unputdownable, yet at times harrowing story of a group of boys from Suffolk who sign up to fight in World War One is a classic. Written in memory of his Uncle who died during World War One this is probably the best children’s book for a youngster to read and begin to understand what his or her ancestors’ sacrificed their lives for to bring peace and prosperity to this country. It’s a masterpiece.
Other titles in this series of books set in, around and after the two world wars of the 20th century by Michael Foreman include, After the War was Over, War Game, War Boy, Farm Boy and Billy the Kid.
And a message from the author and illustrator, Michael Foreman:
IN MEMORY OF MY UNCLES, WHO DIED IN THE GREAT WAR.
WILLIAM JAMES FOREMAN, KILLED AGED 18
FREDERICK BENJAMIN FOREMAN, KILLED AGED 20
WILLIAM HENRY GODDARD, KILLED AGED 20
LACY CHRISTMAS GODDARD, DIED OF WOUNDS CHRISTMAS DAY 1918 AGED 24
Two brothers walked out of my Grandfather’s little Suffolk cottage amongst the hollyhocks and went to War. Their names are on the village War Memorial. A third brother, my father, was too young to go with them. Two other young men, my mother’s brothers, left Granny’s Norfolk village pub and went to war. Their names are on another War Memorial.
There are no photographs of these young men. They didn’t live long enough to have children. They left just four names amid a multitude. My father died one month before I was born … but, back then, all my friends were growing up without their fathers. They were all away in World War II.
The only local men around were too old for this new War, but were still haunted by the ghosts of World War I. Soon, however, our village became full of men. Fathers and brothers from other lands, all on their way to war. They trained on our cliffs and beaches, camped in our woods and fields. They made a fuss of us – the last children they would see before hitting the beaches of occupied Europe. And so another multitude went off to war.
As I write this, sitting in our London garden, there are hollyhocks standing to attention in the shade like the hollyhocks around Grandfather’s cottage. There are four of them.
The classic children's book about the first world war and the Christmas Day cease-fire football match in no-mans-land.
A special lavish new edition of a modern classic - winner of the Smarties Grand Prize.
Contains a special new introduction from michael Foreman, additional new illustrations and 4 pages of extra background material on the First World War and football during the war.
An informative and heartfelt story of the first world war and the famous Christmas cease-fire and football match in no-man's-land.
Beautifully illustrated and reproduced using Michael Foreman's original watercolour paintings.
A masterpiece. --Times Literary Supplement
The work of a major children's author at his peak - The Daily Telegraph
An unforgettable experience - The Guardian
|Publication date:||14th March 2014|
|Publisher:||Pavilion Children's Books an imprint of Anova Books|
|Suitable for:||7+ readers, 9+ readers|
|Other Categories:||The First World War|
Michael Foreman was our Guest Editor in March 2010 - click here - to see the books that inspired his writing. Michael Foreman was born in Suffolk in 1938, and studied at Lowestoft School of Art, St Martin’s, London, and the Royal College of Art, where he won a scholarship to the USA in 1963. He has worked as an Art Director at Playboy and King magazines and still works as Art Editor of the literary journal Ambit. He has also made animated films in Scandinavia and for the BBC. His first book, The General, (a picture book published in 1961), dealt ...More About Michael Foreman