Heroes: Incredible True Stories of Courageous Animals

Publisher: Faber & Faber

For as long as there have been wars, animals have been saving lives. So begins the short preface to this fascinating and heartwarming book, featuring 33 true stories of heroic animals in wartime.

This includes Rob, one of the army’s first paradogs (many of us will be surprised to learn that such a thing even exists), who completed more than 20 parachute jumps during his time with the special forces, and aided the SAS in the Battle of Tunisia in 1943.

Or what about Kenley Lass, a messenger pigeon that accompanied a Special Operations Executive on a perilous journey to occupied France in 1940, and flew safely back with his message?

Each inspiring story is clearly presented over three to five large pages, with Kerry Hyndman’s lovely and deeply atmospheric illustrations as double-page spreads interspersed with the stories.

The book is the follow up to the Blue Peter Prize 2017-winning Survivors: Extraordinary Tales from the Wild and Beyond, which featured real-life tales of humans surviving treacherous and unusual predicaments. Heroes will be just as popular with mid- to upper-primary school children, and is a fantastic resource for schools who are looking at the world wars, highlighting animals’ individual stories of love, bravery and loyalty.

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