> Skip to content

Glyn Harper's Roly, the Anzac Donkey follows Richard Henderson and his donkey Roly, who together saved many WW1 soldiers. Illustrated by Jenny Cooper, it marks the 100th anniversary of Gallipoli.

Glyn Harper's Roly, the Anzac Donkey follows Richard Henderson and his donkey Roly, who together saved many WW1 soldiers. Illustrated by Jenny Cooper, it marks the 100th anniversary of Gallipoli.


Hello. My name is Roly. I'm a donkey.
Let me tell you about the time during the First World War when I worked at a place called Gallipoli. I met a man there from New Zealand who was very special. He and I worked as a team to help rescue soldiers who had been hurt in battle.

Based on real people and events, this is the heartwarming story of Richard Alexander Henderson, a soldier in the New Zealand Medical Corps, and the donkey he discovers wandering and hungry on a Gallipoli road. Richard and Roly form a strong friendship and, working together, they courageously save the lives of many wounded soldiers.

But now the army has received top-secret orders to leave Gallipoli – and quickly. All the donkeys must be left behind. Richard is heartbroken. What will become of his dear friend Roly?

Glyn Harper and Jenny Cooper are the author and illustrator of the hugely successful picture books Le Quesnoy and Jim's Letters. Roly the Anzac Donkey is a moving retelling of Glyn Harper's 2004 story The Donkey Man, reinvigorated for a new generation of children with Jenny Cooper's beautiful illustrations, and commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli invasion.

2016 STORYLINES NOTABLE PICTURE BOOK
'Glyn does not try to romanticise Rory's work in Gallipoli . . . It's important children grow up realising war is not one big adventure and shooting guns is fun. But juxtaposed with this realistic story are the warm illustrations that show the love between animal and human. If you've owned a dog you'd recognise the look that Rory shows for Richard - it's utter adoration, and Jenny Cooper has captured it so expertly. . . Roly and Richard's heart warming tale, Glyn's excellent storytelling abilities, and Jenny's stunning illustrations make this a winner for children (and adults).' Kids Books NZ

Reviews

An inspiring read for children with themes of friendship and courage

Good Magazine

Roly the Anzac Donkey is a great introduction for young minds to the Anzacs.

NZ Doctor

I am quite sure that Glyn Harper doesn't sleep. The Professor of War Studies at Massey University has published book after book about the world wars including his latest, Roly, the Anzac Donkey (Penguin Random House, $19.99). Illustrated by Jenny Cooper (who also collaborated with Glyn on last year's children's book Jim's Letters), the book is based on true events and tells the story of how the title character, abused by his driver, was adopted by a soldier with the New Zealand Field Ambulance. Together the team rescued wounded soldiers at Gallipoli. This picture book tells an important story that young readers can understand and relate to. I think Glyn does a great job writing for audiences of all ages.

Bette Flagler, NZ Heritage

Glyn does not try to romanticise Rory's work in Gallipoli . . . It's important children grow up realising war is not one big adventure and shooting guns is fun. But juxtaposed with this realistic story are the warm illustrations that show the love between animal and human. If you've owned a dog you'd recognise the look that Rory shows for Richard - it's utter adoration, and Jenny Cooper has captured it so expertly . . . Roly and Richard's heart warming tale, Glyn's excellent storytelling abilities, and Jenny's stunning illustrations make this a winner for children (and adults).

Maria Gill, Kids Books NZ

Read More

Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9780143506638

    March 25, 2015

    Picture Puffin (NZ Juvenile)

    32 pages

    RRP $19.99

    Online retailers

    • Fishpond
    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
    • The Warehouse
    • Whitcoulls
    • The Nile
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at www.booksellers.co.nz/directory

Awards and Recognition

  • Storylines Notable Book Award
    2016
    Notable Book
    Picture Book

Also by Glyn Harper

Gladys Goes to War
Jim's Letters
Le Quesnoy

Recommendations

Hairy Maclary's Bone
Our Australian Girl: The Rose Stories
There's A Monster In Your Book
Are We There Yet?
We're All Wonders
A Bag and a Bird
The Terrible Plop
Pearl Barley & Charlie Parsley
Spot’s Day Out
Anna and the Swallow Man
The Fighting Stingrays
Gladys Goes to War
Evie's War
War Girls
When Our Jack Went to War
The Locket of Dreams
Charlotte Sometimes
Hetty Feather's Christmas
Meet... the Flying Doctors
Ghost Soldier