From School Library Journal
Grade 5 Up-Within a framework of the basic historical facts of World War I, John McCrae's famous poem is juxtaposed with paintings and a biography of the poet. Vivid descriptions of the life of a soldier and an explanation of the powerful influence the poem had on society at the time are also included. Black-and-white sketches, photographs of the subject, and memorabilia (e.g., war posters and medals) add to the visual appeal created by Wilson's artwork. The format is somewhat confusing, combining the expository text with full- and double-page paintings captioned with lines of the poem. Nevertheless, this is a beautiful book that can be used in a number of ways because of the variety of information it contains.Sabrina L. Fraunfelter, Kings Glen Elementary School, Springfield, VA
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 4^-6. Focusing on the 15-line poem "In Flanders Fields," this unusual book discusses the life and wartime experiences of Canadian poet John McCrae. It looks at the conditions in the trenches and the field hospitals during the First World War, the circumstances that led to McCrae's writing the poem, the effect of its publication on morale and enlistment, and the history of "poppy day" remembrance traditions from 1919 to the present. The poem appears in full on the first page, followed by a combination of poetry, painting, and background material on the era. Full pages and double-page spreads illustrate the lines of the verse with vibrant, impressionistic paintings showing the home front, the battlefields, war-torn Ypres, and the poppies in Flanders fields yesterday and today. Interspersed are spreads featuring the history of the Great War and McCrae's role as a doctor as well as attractive pencil sketches and reproductions of period posters, postcards, photographs, and artifacts. Maps appear on the end pages. A fine introduction to the poem, the man, and the war that could serve as a focal point for discussions of Veterans Day in the U.S. or Remembrance Day in Canada. Carolyn Phelan