Repost from: http://anzacstoriesbehindthepages.blogspot.com.au Maria Gill
The Anzac Stories: Behind the Pages exhibition has many fabulous Australian and New Zealand authors and illustrators in it. Go to Authors/Illustrators/Books to see the full list.
Each week, I’ll highlight one of the authors or illustrators in the exhibition – this week it is Norman Jorgensen. Norman also received great news recently … Western Australia Young Readers Book Awards(WAYRBA) shortlisted one of his books – ‘The Smugglers Curse‘. Congratulations, Norman! His book ‘In Flanders Field’ is in the Anzac Stories: Behind the Pages Exhibition.
Norman loosely based In Flanders Fields on a historical event during WWI. The British and Germans held a truce on Christmas Day 1914, while they buried their dead and played soccer in no-man’s-land. Instead Norman has an Australian soldier rescue a robin caught on barbed wire in no-man’s land.
“I wanted to capture what the film director did in All Quiet on the Western Front. The image of the butterfly is so simple and stands for the whole of humanity in its brokenness. For me, the robin is also a symbol of humanity but it also has the additional association of the redness of blood spilt in battle and the traditional colour of Christmas.”
Norman said he is a pacifist. “I wanted the book to be anti-war and show that these soldiers, in their quiet way, are caught up in war which they oppose. In the end papers, where I have the two armies looking inwards from their trenches, the shades of grey and khaki merge. It is not their war. They are scared young men.”