Title: Daisy and the Unknown Warrior
Author: Tony Bradman
Illustrator: Tania Rex
Publisher: Barrington Stoke
Genre: Children’s fiction, Historical
Book format: Paperback
Description: November 1920.
An unknown soldier, killed during the First World War, is to be buried at Westminster Abbey. The war has claimed the lives of thousands of men whose bodies will never make it home, and the Unknown Warrior will represent them all.
As hundreds of people crowd to the Abbey, Daisy knows she has to make it to the ceremony. Because although they call the warrior unknown, she is sure that he is her father …
*Free copy provided by publisher for review…
Review: This is a lovely story and one which shows the importance of Armistice Day and the tomb of the unknown warrior. It’s 1920, two years after the war ended, and two years since Daisy’s father died in battle. Daisy still misses her dad, but when her teacher tells her about a special event that will be happening on Armistice Day, Daisy is hopeful that she might see her dad again.
This story is short but a lovely and moving one as we first get to know Daisy and the tough life she and her family have. Being the oldest of three children, Daisy has to take care of her two brothers and walk them to school, while her mum struggles to make money and afford the small flat they live in. While at school, just days before the second Armistice day, the 11th Novenber, Daisy’s teacher tells the class about how one unknown soldier’s body will be brought from the battlefield back to England to be burried at Westminster, in what will be known as the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior. Although Daisy knows the body could be anyones, something inside her believes it is her dad, and she’s determined to go and see him, even though her mum doesn’t approve.
As the story progresses we see how important the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior is, not only to Daisy but to many other people too. The way this brings everyone together and helps them to mourn their dead loved ones is explained well in this book, and I love how, although there is tension between Daisy and her mum, in the end the relationship between them is good and there is a lovely ending to the tale. The story is simple but I love how well the emotions of Daisy and others are shown. It’s still so hard for Daisy to deal with her dad’s death. She has happy memories of him but they make her want to cry and I like how this grief is shown to kids. It’s impossible for anyone today to know just how it felt to live beyond the war after so many men died in battle, but this book does a good job of showing how important Armistice day is and how we must not forget.
The illustrations are lovely. I love how all the characters look and you can really see the expressions on all of them well. I like how these illustrations are dotted around the text on some pages, giving you a clearer image in your mind of how things were back then, or how some of the characters are feeling. All the illustrations are in black, white and grey and the entire book has some really easy to read font for the text, as well as good spacing between all paragraphs. It’s printed on a more yellow coloured thick paper too, all of which should help dyslexics and those who are reluctant to read books. The whole book is very short too, around 50 pages which makes this an easy read for anyone.
At the back of the book are some historical notes by the author, facts about the war and the Armistice Day. These facts are explained well and I liked this extra section as it helped in understanding even more what people went through and how important this day and how important the unknown warrior has become for people.
Overall this is a lovely book. It’s a great book to read around Rememberance Day but also any time of year as it’s about an important part of our history, and something which is still with us today, and all children should learn about it. A wonderful book I definitely recommend.
Do you like this book? Do you do anything special for Armistice Day? Did you know about the tomb of the unknown warrior? Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂