These storybooks are free, research-based and written using a strengths-based, resilience-based approach. They are designed to support children’s understanding about:
- parents working away (in any family)
- military family life
- parents who have given their health in service (e.g. veteran’s children’s resources).
The ‘book project’ as part of the broader Early Childhood Defence Programs project was the joint winner of the 2022 ‘Distinctive Work’ prize from the Council for Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (CHASS). ‘The jury commended the work for its significant contribution to supporting children and their families and your innovative, creative methods used in doing so‘.
Book covers and diversity
Here are our book covers for our 12 new, free, research-based children’s books. They are being evaluated and will be released in 2022. Please see our project timetable.
All books are designed to increase children’s understanding and they are written from a strengths-based, resilience-based perspective. They are designed to start a conversation between children and adults about their experiences being in a military family.
You can also read about the target age-groups for the books and a more detailed description of each book.
The links to the books below give you access to a downloadable version of the book and access to the accompanying educational resources. However, you can access all 12 of our books together here, including downloadable or interactive books. To find out how to best use interactives with children, visit this page.
You can also purchase printed books from the Australian War Memorial. Click here to order.
We have tried to capture the diversity of Australian families. You can find out more about the diversity in the books by downloading this guide. Diversity-in-the-books
Why are the books free?
All books are free, downloadable and printable due to the generosity of our funders. We are also hoping to secure more funding to ensure all books have interactive and Key Word Sign versions (as indicated below).
* -Eight of the 12 books also have interactive versions.
^-Half of the books have Key Word Sign videos (using Auslan signs).
All books have accompanying resources e.g. free downloadable educational activities (puppets, puzzles, matching and sorting games, board games, card games, sequencing and storytelling activities), PPT versions of the books for personalising the books, educational activities, and read-along audio and video recordings.
‘Waiting for Daddy‘ – is very popular with preschoolers and beyond. This book explores the experience of a parent going and returning from deployment through the eyes of 2-year-old Rose. It features one family. *^
‘Mary’s Alphabet Slippery Dip‘ – for our youngest audience and looks at military family life and emotional responses. This features a military family, but as discussed, might feature many families. Great for babies, toddlers and preschoolers, and young readers. *^
‘My colourful kite‘ features Nick who has a social response (clinginess) to his mother working away. It features one family.
‘D is for Deployment‘ features preschooler Ann who is Mary’s older sister. She takes the reader through the word deployment, exploring every letter. It is similar to Mary’s alphabet in that it could potentially feature different families. *^
‘Now that I am big‘ features Rose’s older brother, 5-year-old Anthony. He experiences challenging responses during reintegration. This book is for older preschoolers and young school-aged children. *^
‘We Remember‘ looks at military culture e.g. remembrance services, flags, memorials, symbolism etc. It would need some adaptation for Canadian use but would be well worth the effort, I think because it looks at different aspects of service.*^
‘T is for Training‘ is almost the same as ‘D is for Deployment’, but it features a different family whose mother deploys in the Airforce. *^
‘Where is work?’ explores all the places parents go when they are working away. It looks at what they do when they are away. It also explores the emotional responses of children who miss their parents. It features many families, including a military family.
‘What do you do when you miss your parents?’ examines some of the resilience-based projects children can do with their parents when they are separated through work. This book features the same families as ‘Where is work?’.
Focused content books
These books are only for defence families who have experienced service-related physical or mental health conditions.
‘In sickness and in health‘ is told by Sam whose mother has a number of physical/medical and mental health issues from service. *
‘So, things have been a bit different‘ looks at a father returning home with a physical injury.
‘Oh, by the way, my Mum has PTS‘ is told by Nathan, whose mother has PTS from her service. *