Books for Kids to Understand Veterans Day
And now the Torch and Poppy red
We wear in honor of our dead.
Fear not that ye have died for naught,
We’ll teach the lesson that ye wrought.
In Flanders Fields.
My kids’ elementary school has been celebrating Veterans Day for the past few years by asking the kids to create a card to a Veteran. They supply a blank card and envelope and the kids supply their creative energy. The card get mailed off and inevitably, every year, a touching letter will be sent back in return from a Vet. Reading his handwritten card usually sends chills up my spine. He is grateful for the effort the kids made and for the fact that someone appreciates the horrors and sacrifices that he made for his country.
We don’t talk about war much at home. I find the idea of war to be terrifying and can’t read about it or watch movies depicting war. Even children’s books. But I am happy to celebrate Veteran’s Day as a way to appreciate our troops out there fighting.
In honor of our Veteran’s, I have found two great children’s books. The Poppy Lady is a picture book biography. Postcards from Pismo Beach is a chapter book for ages 8 and up that reminds me of our Veteran’s Day card project. How do you celebrate Veteran’s Day?
My son made this poppy project at school. He used red and black construction paper, a brad and a pipe cleaner.
p.s. There was a 3 cent commemorative stamp created in honor of Moina Michael.
p.p.s. Here an Art Project on Poppies inspired by Emile Nolde.
p.p.p.s. I found these great Veterans Day crafts from Laughing Kids Learn blog.
p.p.p.s. This is a video of an art installation, Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red, as it continues to grow throughout the summer until the moat is filled with 888,246 ceramic poppies, each poppy representing a British fatality during the First World War.
The Tower of London remembers the First World War, 1914 – 2014.
Celebrate Veterans Day Reading Books with Kids
The Civil War ripped Moina’s hometown in Georgia apart, leaving a wake of poverty. At fifteen in the year 1885, Moina is well-educated and decides to start a school for the neighbors’ children who otherwise would not be able to attend school. By 1917, Moira’s school is well established but the United States is on the brink of war. When the U.S. joins WWI, Moina is moved to help — these are her ex-students who are going off to war! We Shall Not Sleep, a poem by Lieutenant Colonel Dr. John McCrae written after the battle of Flanders, inspires her to use the poppy as her pledge to soldiers. Her relentless efforts pay off and the poppy becomes a symbol and talisman to help veterans around the world!
In Flanders Fields
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Author Barbara Elizabeth Walsh has a personal story about Moina. In her attic, there is a box with poppy pinned to a handwritten postcard. It was sent to her mother, then the fiancée of her father, by Moira. He was one of many, many soldiers that she lent a kind ear to. Can the kindness and caring of one person ripple through the world from one century into the next? The story of Moina Belle Michael, not a household name by any means, proves that it can! [advanced picture book, ages 6 and up]
Operation Rescue Dog by Maria Gianferrari, illustrated by Luisa Uribe
Alma’s mother is away in Iraq, and it’s been three months since she’s heard her voice. Lulu is a rescue dog that Alma’s abuela thinks will be the perfect addition to their family. After each has a small mishap getting to the Operation Dog Rescue stop, it’s clear that Lulu has found a forever home. [picture book, ages 4 and up]
Postcards from Pismo by Michael Scotto
10-year-old Felix Maldonado has a school project to write a letter to a soldier fighting in Afghanistan. To his surprise, his soldier, Marcus, writes him back and soon Felix begins to rely on his for life advice, especially after he gets bullied and his older brother enlists in the military. Told entirely in letters, emails and postcards from Felix to Marcus, Postcards from Pismo is a coming of age story that tackles what it means to be brave, both at home, in school facing bullies, and on a battlefield. [chapter book, ages 8 and up]
To view either book more closely at Amazon, please click on image. To view at Barnes and Noble, please click below.
p.s. Other Veteran’s Day Posts:
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