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About the book
  • Published: 23 March 2012
  • ISBN: 9780143504566
  • Imprint: Picture Puffin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 32
  • RRP: $19.99

Le Quesnoy




The heartwarming and beautifully illustrated story of the liberation of the French town of Le Quesnoy by New Zealand soldiers in 1918, told through the eyes of a child.

The heartwarming and beautifully illustrated story of the liberation of the French town of Le Quesnoy by New Zealand soldiers in 1918, told through the eyes of a child.

Le Quesnoy (pronounced Leck con wah) is a town in northern France. It is surrounded by high walls and deep trenches. In World War I it was occupied by the German army for four long years.

In November 1918 the town was liberated by soldiers from far-away New Zealand. Because these men used a bit of kiwi ingenuity they were able to take the town back without a single civilian life being lost. This has become one of the most famous stories in New Zealand military history and the relationship between Le Quesnoy and New Zealand continues to this day.

This book tells the story of Le Quesnoy's liberation through the eyes of a child living in the town at the time. Stunning watercolour illustrations and simple language make this an ANZAC picture book that young readers will be able to imaginatively engage with.

  • Pub date: 23 March 2012
  • ISBN: 9780143504566
  • Imprint: Picture Puffin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 32
  • RRP: $19.99

About the Authors

Glyn Harper

Glyn Harper is Professor of War Studies at Massey University in Palmerston North, New Zealand. He is Massey's Project Manager of the Centenary History of New Zealand and the First World War. A former teacher, he joined the Australian Army in 1988 and after eight years transferred to the New Zealand Army, where he rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel. Glyn was the army's official historian for the deployment to East Timor and is the author of numerous history books, including Kippenberger: An Inspired New Zealand Commander; In the Face of the Enemy: The complete history of the Victoria Cross and New Zealand; Dark Journey: Three Key Battles of the Western Front; Images of War: World War One: A Photographic Record of New Zealanders at War 1914–1918 and his most recent Letters from Gallipoli: New Zealand Soldiers Write Home. He has written a number of children's books, of which Le Quesnoy, Jim's Letters and Roly, the Anzac Donkey are the most recently published. In 2015 Glyn and illustrator Jenny Cooper won the Best Picture Book Award at the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults, as well as a Storylines Notable Picture Book Award, for Jim's Letters, a moving story about a correspondence between two brothers during the First World War.
Speaking about writing stories for children in an interview with the Manawatu Standard in 2018, Glyn said, ‘‘I think history is immensely important. Having a sense of the past and what has created the nation as it is today is very important for young people. If
stories can do that, I think they are serving
a good purpose.’’

Jenny Cooper

Jenny Cooper is an award-winning and prolific illustrator of more than 70 children’s books, and says she finds each new title “completely different and a new adventure”. Noted for being an exceptionally versatile, characterful and exuberant illustrator, the judges of the 2015 LIANZA Children and Young Adult Book Awards praised Jenny for the “multitude of talents in her basket of goodies . . . she is able to draw a variety of animals convincingly well; her command of emotional drawing is also superb. The depth of feeling in the faces of her characters brings tears to the reader’s eyes. She is surely envied by other illustrators.” Jenny’s recent work includes a series of critically acclaimed First World War picture books with text by Glyn Harper – Roly, the Anzac Donkey, Jim’s Letters and Le Quesnoy: The Story of the Town New Zealand Saved – and the beautiful A Treasury of New Zealand Poems for Children edited by Paula Green. In 2015 Jenny was honoured as one of New Zealand’s foremost illustrators with the presentation of The Arts Foundation Mallinson Rendel Illustrators Award. The award’s patron Ann Mallinson declared her the “perfect recipient”, saying that “Whether a pencil sketch or a realistic, photographic based style, Jenny’s illustrations jump out of the page with an invigorating spirit . . . Jenny is a greatly admired and very experienced artist who has illustrated a large number of picture books. Her work is always of the highest standard. She can tackle any subject, and if it requires more than her wonderful imagination, she will do thorough research.” In August 2015 Jim’s Letters, Jenny's and author Glyn Harper’s memorable depiction of a World War One correspondence between two brothers, one a soldier in Gallipoli and the other at home on their Central Otago farm, won the Picture Book category of the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. Jenny has also won a number of Storylines Notable Book Awards — for A Treasury of New Zealand Poems for Children edited by Paula Green (2015); Jim’s Letters with Glyn Harper (2015); Ria the Reckless Wrybill with Jane Buxton (2011); A. W. Reed’s classic Illustrated Myths and Legends of the Pacific (2008); The Mad Tadpole Adventure with Melanie Drewery (2008); Duck Walk with Joy Cowley (2003); The Great Pavlova Cover-up edited by Jo Noble (2002); and The Wooden Fish with Tim Tipene (2000). Jenny lives in Amberley, near Christchurch.


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