Family Lockdown Challenge: Stand Apart Together this ANZAC Day

We will be celebrating ANZAC Day differently this year. ANZAC Services are cancelled for the first time in 104 years. However there are many ways for you you can honor our fallen and returned soldiers from the safety of your doorstep. You can:

Virtual Dawn Service:image courtesy of

Take part in Stand at Dawn. Stand at your letterbox, at the front door, your lounge rooms, etc, on Saturday 25th April at 6am to remember our fallen. The official dawn service starts at 6am on Saturday 25 April. It will be broadcasted on Radio NZ National. The morning service includes the Last Post, National Anthems, and an address by Hon. Ron Mark, Minister of Defence / Minister for Veterans. For more information about the virtual dawn service and other online events, please visit the Wellington City Council website.

Activities for kids:

You can make poppies at home. image courtesy of standatdawn.comYou can place them on your window, decorate your letter box and even create you own poppy garden. For more ideas, visit the Stand at Dawn Activities page

Bake ANZAC Biscuits:image courtesy of

People are making the most of their time with cooking and baking since lockdown. Why not bake some yummy ANZAC biscuits with your whanau and serve them out of the oven with a nice cup of tea after the dawn service. Click here to view the recipe.

ANZAC Fact: The biscuits were sent by wives and women’s groups to soldiers abroad because the ingredients did not spoil and the biscuits kept well during naval transportation.

Watch the Ballet from your living room:

Watch the ballet, with your ANZAC biscuit and cup of tea, from confort of your own bubble… and living room. image courtesy of Royal New Zealand Ballet will be livestreaming on Facebook a special broadcast of ‘Dear Horizon’ and ‘Passchendaele’, two works that were commissioned for our Salute programme back in 2015 and performed live with the New Zealand Army Band, to commemorate the centenary of the Gallipoli landings. You can view the RNZB Facebook live event Anzac Salute here. For more information, visit the Royal New Zealand Ballet Facebook page and website.

Read up on the ANZACs and Anzac Day?

ManyAnswers has a page dedicated to websites, resources and ways to search for information about the ANZACs and ANZAC Day. You can also refer to last year’s blog post and this previous post, which  provides a list of websites that will provide you with reliable information about ANZAC Day and World War 1.
Remember stay safe in your bubble, stay at home and be kind. Kia kaha!

Kids’ Club Review by Luke: Torty and the soldier

Torty and the soldier, by Jennifer Beck

Based on a true story., this book is set WWI and is about a tortoise and a NZ solider. This is a beautiful story about an unlikely friendship. Torty is actually still alive today! I really liked this book and think all children should read it. I rated it 5 stars.

5 stars

Reviewed by Luke from Karori and Karori Normal School , 12 years old

Kids’ Club Review by Molly: Torty and the soldier

Torty and the soldier, by Jennifer Beck

This is a lovely picture book about a tortise called Torty and a NZ solider called Stewart Little. It is set during WWI and Stewart rescues a tortoise that has been run over and nurses her back to health. When he returned home, Torty was stolen and sold to a circus but a policeman found her and she was returned to Stewart’s family. This is a lovely book and I really enjoyed reading it. I especially liked it as it was a true story.

5 stars

Reviewed by Molly  from Karori and Karori Normal School , 10 years old

Kids’ Club Review by Anna: Torty and the soldier

Torty and the soldier, by Jennifer Beck

This book is about a soldier who sees a tortoise being run over by a French cannon. Torty is lucky and is rescued by a soldier from NZ. I thought this was a lovely story and it is true. It made me feel happy. I thing children 3+ would enjoy this book.

5 stars

Reviewed by Anna from Karori and Karori Normal School , 5 years old

Kids’ Club Review by Anna: Torty and the soldier

Torty and the soldier, by Jennifer Beck

Well done, Jennifer Beck. This is a tale I have heard many accounts off, and this is by far my favourite. Factual books are amazing. I love reading and learning about the two world wars (even though the tactics tent to make me paranoid, e.g the mustard gas attack in WW1, I’m not going to go into detail about mustard gas). It’s important to know about our history so that we can relish to world we know now. I know a few people that took our world for granted until I made them read a few factual books about the world wars. A great book to delight readers of all ages.

5 stars

Reviewed by Anna from Miramar and Miramar Central School , 10 years old

Kids’ Club Review by Rebecca: Torty and the soldier

Torty and the soldier, by Jennifer Beck

Torty and the soldier is a very moving and sad story. It is about how Torty a tortoise survives many events that some humans did not. I would recommend the story to all ages that like true stories.

5 stars

Reviewed by Rebecca from Island Bay and Amesbury School , 10 years old

Kids’ Club Review by Zahra: Torty and the Soldier

Torty and the Soldier, by Jennifer Beck

This story is about a man called Stewart who went to the war. He found a tortoise which was injured and he took really good care of her. He took her back to New Zealand.

My favourite characters were the girl that found the tortoise at the beach and the tortoise.

It was sad at the end when Stewart died.

I liked this book because it is actually a true story.

I would recommend this book to everyone.

5 stars

Reviewed by Zahra from Karori and Samuel Marsden Collegiate School , 7 years old

Kids’ Club Review by Danielle: Opal Plumstead

Opal PlumsteadOpal Plumstead, by Jacqueline Wilson

This is a very realistic and sad book. Even though it is set over one hundred years ago, the problems that happen in the book still happen today. It is one of my favourite books as it looks at how children cope and deal with adult problems. I recommend this book to children over ten.

5 stars

Reviewed by Danielle from Tawa and , 10 years old