A Soldier, a Dog and a Boy

  • Long-listed for the Children’s Picture Book of the Year, 2017
  • Notable CBCA, 2017

A moving story, told completely in dialogue, about a young Australian soldier in the battle of the Somme. Walking through the fields away from the front, he finds what he thinks is a stray dog, and decides to adopt it as a mascot for his company. Then he meets Jacques, the homeless orphan boy who owns the dog. The soldier realises that Jacques needs the dog more – and perhaps needs his help as well.

With stunning illustrations from Phil Lesnie, this is a deeply moving celebration of friendship in times of war. A Soldier, A Dog And A Boy was inspired by Libby Hathorn’s months of research on her uncle, who survived Gallipoli but went on to fight at the Battle of the Somme and was killed there in 1917 at just twenty years old.

This story was inspired by Libby Hathorn’s family history and by a WWI photograph from the collections of the State Library of NSW of a returned Australian solider opening a sack revealing a young orphaned French boy who was smuggled out of France.

Extensive Teacher Notes available in Resources section.


Publisher: Lothian Children’s Books / Hachette

Year: 2016