I have just come across this beautiful book whilst rummaging through the shelves at the School Library Services.
As Remembrance Day is nearly upon us this is a wonderful way to share the real reason why we wear poppies and remember.
It tells the story of the Christmas truce when the war stopped, so very briefly, whilst a football match was played and peace was found…for one special day. It is gentle and beautiful and suitable, on a very basic level, for younger children (I shared with my son aged 7 who read it himself afterwards).
It also reminded me of a grittier version of the story ‘War Game’ by Michael Foreman.
There is also a beautiful animation version of the book. Both I would only share with upper KS2 children as they are very moving and tackle the death of the young soldiers in a gentle, but incredibly powerful way.
If you want your children to empathise with the loses of war then this really is the book to read. I read it to my son, in an edited version, and he sat still and thoughtful for a few minutes after it finished. I think it is vital that children read books that are sad. They should experience a huge range of emotions through books – this is why I am passionate about reading real books and throwing away schemes as soon as you get chance!
Last year Sainsbury’s brought out a magical Christmas advert that was also based on the Christmas truce story.
There is also a fascinating short film of the true story behind the advert…
…and a really useful website which gives more information on the football match played during WW1.
One of my favourite websites ‘The Literacy Shed’ also have some super ideas in their ‘Christmas Shed’.