Saturday, April 20, 2013

R is for ... The Red Poppy

Today we read The Red Poppy, written by David Hill and illustrated by Fifi Colston and song (yes there's a CD accompanying it) by Rob Kennedy.

It's a lovely picture book about a young Kiwi soldier (I am guessing by his friends Maori name) in France during World War 1 waiting to jump out of his trench and fight the Germans. He's scared and not looking forward to shooting at or killing anyone, although of course no mention is made of this in the letter he has just penned to his family.

Jim jumps out of the trenches with his comrades and makes his way towards the enemy, many of his comrades are falling around him and then he ends up wounded and lands in a deep hole cause by a shell explosion. In the hole he meets an enemy soldier, Karl, who he realises is seriously wounded and initially is as scared of him as he is of Karl.  Together, Jim and Karl, with the aid of Kipper the dog, work together to get rescued.

My girls liked it and found the book a little sad (I confess I did a bit too ... constricting voice last page read) and although it is aimed at a young audience I would tend to keep it to older children as it deals with serious themes. The pictures are all dark and muted except for the splashes of the red poppy, the symbol of hope.

I would highly recommend it though, as I love the messages in this book. War wasn't pleasant and was scary but Jim still showed courage, compassion and humanity.

If you'd like to hear the lovely song, click here ... Little Red Poppy  There are a few on You tube but I chose this one because it has the words with it.

Later we made our own Red Poppies to finish for our wreath to lay on ANZAC Day at the Cenotaph.

  • We used a butterfly punch to cut out two butterflies from red card.
  • We glued them across each other.
  • Punched out a small black circle and then glued that on the top in the middle of the flower.
  • We then cut out some random shaped green leaves (they were more realistic that way - OK we didn't have a leaf punch) and glued them on the back. Some have one, some have two leaves.
  • We then slightly bent the petals and leaves a bit so they were rounded like a real flowers petals and leaves would be.

Quite simple but effective poppies, wouldn't you agree?

Highhill Homeschool


  1. I pinned this. We aren't studying WWII yet, but I like to read my kids random picture books all the time. Unfortunately our library doesn't have this one, so I will have to order it. We enjoyed the book The Butterfly - it was also about WWII.

  2. Where did u get your butterfly cutter?

    1. I got it from Stampin Up, one of those card suppliers you order through but I am sure you could get them from any scrapbooking supplies shops, maybe even Spotlight (AUS/NZ).


Pin It