Martin Impey studied graphic design with distinction and alongside illustration has worked in design, film, advertising and marketing.
March 2018 Book of the Month | Beautifully illustrated and with a touching rhyming text this is another excellent book to give young children a real sense of World War One. Lily, Ben and Ray are childhood friends, spending long summer days playing together in the fields and woods round their homes. They grow up into war however, Ben and Ray sign up leaving Lily at home. Soon she is too at the front however as a nurse at Passchendaele. There she is reunited with her old friend Ben. The story gently demonstrates the extraordinary courage and resilience shown by ordinary people in such a terrible situation, skilfully bringing the past to life through personal stories. There are echoes of the war poets in the text and the illustrations have a timeless feel.
One of Our Books of the Year 2017 | May 2017 Book of the Month | | This deeply moving story perfectly conveys the devastating impact of the First World War both on those who took part and those they left behind. Though the story is fiction, many of those who feature were real people, gardeners at what became known after their deaths as the Lost Gardens of Heligan. The story is narrated by Alfie, who is too young to sign up, and conveyed through his letters to and from the young men who worked alongside him in the gardens and who joined the forces. The letters describe simply but vividly the realities of life at home and at the front, optimism and enthusiasm giving way to shock and grief. We particularly feel for Will who was so kind and gentle, and whose absence is mourned by animal as well as human friends. Beautifully told and illustrated, this is a book for children and adults to treasure. Line of Fire by Barroux gives another first-hand account of the war in words and pictures.
Winner of the 2016 Historical Association’s ‘Young Quill’s Award for Historical Fiction’ (primary school category) | One of our Books of the Year 2015 | | The stories of the many animals involved in the First World War make a great way to explain to children the sacrifices made by the soldiers: the animals had no choice but to take part, had no nationality, and children can quickly identify with them. Flo is a Mercy dog, one of those trained to find the wounded and dying on battlefields and sent out with medical supplies. Her story is told in rhyme, building through repetition ( like This is the house that Jack Built) from ‘This is Flo, a hero of war/A mercy dog that saved lives’ until the full story emerges, of pilots shot down and then saved by the Medical Corps, with the help of a messenger pigeon, a donkey and of course Flo. The illustrations are full of details to inspire discussion, and a moving story of peace and reconciliation emerges.
Shortlisted for the Education Resources Award 2015 | Amid the horror of the fighting in the First World War, there was one moment of unexpected and surprising harmony. On Christmas Eve 1914 the soldiers from opposing sides of No Man’s Land joined together in the singing of a carol. Stille Nacht was begun by the German soldiers; Silent Night followed as the British soldiers joined in. The next day, weapons were laid down and the two sides played an impromptu game of football. In a simple and well-phrased text and evocative illustrations this moment of truce is finely captured.
Shortlisted for the Education Resources Award 2015 - One of our Books of the Year 2014 | Shortlisted for the Education Resources Award 2015 - One of our Books of the Year 2014 This moving poetic text matched with warm-hearted illustrations captures the lives of two friends and the parts they played in the enormous military campaign of the First World War. From their early days playing together through to their old age they shared everything. Above all, as young men they courageously shared the danger and devastation of the war which took place on their very own land. The result is a book that reflects the lasting importance of both friendship and place and how they can help to heal the tragedy of war.
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