Charlie’s War

Author: Vicki Bennett
Illustrator: Debbie Taylor Worley
Publisher: Windy Hollow Publishing

A young Aboriginal boy’s dream of shearing sheep turns into reality. Then war breaks out in Europe. Despite initially not being able to enlist, he and his two best friends eventually sign up and their lives are changed forever.

 This is author Vicki Bennett’s fifth picture storybooks that introduce young children to the themes of WWI and WWII. Vicki’s connection with WWI began as a little girl when her grandfather, William McCauley, told her about a friendship forged between him and an Indigenous solider who fought alongside him in the trenches at the Somme. When Des Crump first told Vicki about his Uncle Charlie, Vicki hoped that Charlie and William may have met somewhere on those battlefields of France.

 Illustrator Debbie Taylor Worley is a Gamilaraay woman, currently residing on Bundjalung country. She has worked as an artist, illustrator, and educator, participating in numerous group and solo shows, facilitating workshops and creating public and community artworks. With a multidisciplinary practice, Taylor-Worley is known most widely for her clay and textile work. Preferencing natural and foraged materials that are connected to country and working within the landscape and directly on the ground, her work draws on ancestral and intuitive guidance, creating narratives that bridge bi-cultural divides. The themes of her work confront, recontextualise and decolonise colonial histories. “Charlie’s War” is the fifth children’s book Taylor-Worley has illustrated.