Anzac Day, Book reviews by Rebecca

Book Review – The Promise: The Town that Never Forgets

The Promise: The Town That Never Forgets/N’oublions jamais l’Australie by Derek Guille, ill. Kaff-eine, translated by Anne-Sophie Biguet, ISBN 9780987313959, One Day Hill

A review copy was provided by the publisher

The Promise (cover)

At the end of World War I Australian soldiers were sent to regain the French village Villers-Bretonneux which Germany had invaded and occupied. After two terrible battles, Australian soldiers took the village back on 25 April 1918. When the war ended, the villagers began to rebuild and school children from Victoria in Australia raised money to help rebuild the school. The villagers of Villers-Bretonneux promised never to forget Australia and how the Australian soldiers helped the town.

This picture book came about following a Melbourne Symphony Orchestra tour to Europe. The book tells the story of the grandson of one of the soldiers who fought at Villers-Bretonneux — the grandson played the trumpet in MSO and formed a band of twelve musicians he called the Melbourne Villers-Bretonneux Brass Ensemble. The ensemble visited Villers-Bretoneux and the school there, and played at the foot of the war memorial. The performance was emotional for the villagers and for the Australian performers, too.

This story belongs to two countries and is told in two languages. On each page, the story is told in English at the top half of the page with the French translation at the bottom half. The illustrations by street-artist Kaff-eine are simple and striking.

Another great book to add to your Anzac-themed bookshelf.

© April 2013 “Review of The Promise: The Town That Never Forgets” by Rebecca Newman (

Find other Anzac-themed books on Soup blog. 

4 thoughts on “Book Review – The Promise: The Town that Never Forgets”

  1. unable to secure a copy from ABC bookshop Westfield Tuggerah 2259.I originally ordered on May 2nd. Can you advise why?

    1. McDonald – does the bookshop know why? Perhaps the book sold out of its first print run and there’s a wait while the publisher organises the reprint (I’m just guessing I’m afraid).

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