Saturday, April 21, 2012

Caesar the Anzac Dog by Patricia Stroud

This beautiful and thought-provoking book by New Zealand author, Patricia Shroud, tracks the training and work done by Caesar a Red Cross rescue dog. The book tracks his farewell from New Zealand, his time on the HMNZ 43 Transport ship, to the training  camp in Egypt, and to his final destination on the battlefields of the Somme in France. The book gives great insight into the way in which animals such as horses and dogs were used in World War 1. The are beautiful, sepia  illustrations throughout the book, even one showing the dugout kennels which were like bomb shelters used to protect the dogs from enemy artillery. Other keys characters are his handler and ambulance driver, Tom,  and nurse, Kath Butcher who pampered Caesar whenever she had the opportunity. It is a very moving book which pays tribute not only to Caesar but to all other four legged helpers on the battlefields. 

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