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In Flanders Fields: The Story of the Poem by John McCrae [Paperback]

Linda Granfield , Janet Wilson


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Book Description

30 Nov 1995
A tribute to the well-known War World I poem, its creator and the poppy which has come to signify remembrance of the fallen in battle. The author interweaves lines of the poem with information about the war, and accounts of poet-doctor John McCrae's experiences in the field are also included.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  15 reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In Flanders Field 6 Jun 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I read this book while resting my feet at Book Expo 2000. At least three people stopped to ask me about it because they were so taken by the illustrations. This picture book for young people intersperses breathtaking illustrations for the poem "In Flanders Field" with background on World War I and the story of the writing of this poem. A deeply affecting and touching book, it will give young people a personal view of war, particularly this war. Unfortunately, many children as well as adults know nothing about World War I. This book is a fine introduction and a good war to broach a painful topic. By any standard, it is well-well written and thoughtful.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Every child should know this poem 24 Sep 2003
By Cindy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Growing up in Canada, I and every other child knew this poem inside and out. Every Rememberence Day[Nov.11th], we recited it, wore our poppies and then walked down to the cemetery to commemorate all the soldiers who died during the different wars. We talked about it in class for a few weeks.I gave it to my children after I found the book at a Canadian bookstore the week of it's release. They in turn took it school and their teachers read it to their classes. As a education major, I will use it in my studies and then as a teacher for my class to learn about the World Wars. The art work is beautiful and the story enclosed is lovely too, if ever can be of a book about war. It's too bad this isn't used over here in the States.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Yet Haunting Illustration of the Poem 4 Oct 2010
By Nicola Manning-Mansfield - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Reason for Reading: Read aloud to the 10yo as part of our history curriculum.

This is a book I've read several times. I've read the entire book to myself and aloud to each of my children plus I've read the poem from the book numerous times. This is not really a book about World War 1, or the Great War as it lets children know it was once called. Plenty of information about the war is imparted but that is through the telling of the story of Lt. Col. John McCrae, Canadian soldier and poet, how he came to write the poem "In Flanders Fields" and the impact that poem had on the people at the time as well as its lasting effect.

Textually, the book starts with a copy of the poem written in McCrae's own hand. Then there is a very brief set up for WWI, and a brief background on John McCrae before he was in Flanders. It then goes on to describe in detail the conditions of war at Flanders and McCrae is quoted from his own letters. We are given the story, well the two variations, of how and why John wrote the poem and the public's immediate overwhelming response to its heartfelt message. Then how the imagery of poppies became incorporated into war posters, advertisements for Victory Bonds and quotes from "In Flanders Fields" were used as taglines to inspire people. We get a good look at McCrae's war life as a surgeon and how he lived out his life, eventually dying on the front lines of pneumonia. But the message of the poppy didn't end with Lt. Col. John McCrae's death nor the end of WWI, it became a symbol of remembrance of those who have fallen in wars to fight for our freedom and the custom of wearing a poppy, which started during McCrae's life, is still followed today in many countries throughout the world as they honour a national day of Remembrance on November 11th.

Visually, the text pages are illustrated with a few drawings, photographs, postcards, and artifacts such as medals. But the true impact of this book comes from the beautiful yet haunting paintings of Janet Wilson which illustrate the poem a few lines at a time. In between the text pages every so often the poem is slowly told a few lines at a time using a two page spread entirely filled with the painting while the words are written along the bottom of the page. These paintings truly bring the poem's meaning forward to anyone who looks at them. Words and picture combine to tell the haunting, powerful cry of the poem. One cannot read the poem along with these paintings and not feel this poem in their gut, perhaps have their voice crack; it gets to me every time.

While I certainly love this book as a whole I would recommend it solely for the illustrated version of the poem alone.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In Flander's Field 18 Jan 2007
By 4sons - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A valuable book for those who wish to remind their children - and themselves - of the utter horrors of a brutal war. While not for very young children, it would be a great way to get one's family to think about war and its violence and, sometimes, its absolute necessity.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A story that should be shared 11 Nov 2004
By LonestarReader - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This lovely book is a perfect introduction to Veteran's Day or Remembrance Day or World War I. The story of John McCrea and WWI flows through the book, interspersed with lines from the poem, "In Flanders fields." It discusses the significance of the date, November 11 and supplies interesting details from the period. Over two page spreads Wilson also interprets lines from the poem with lovely paintings that fill in more information about soldier life.

This book is very popular with kids who like nonfiction "war" books.

Cultural references to this poem abound. The poem is a classic that should be shared with young people today.
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