A tender, moving story of a child waiting at home for the return of his father from serving in WWI.

During World War I, Australian and New Zealand soldiers on the front were sent Christmas care packages in a tin billy. The Anzac Billy is the heartwarming story of a little boy packing a billy with all his father’s favourite things – added to by mum and grandma – even though he realises there is no way that the billy can actually go to a particular soldier.

Perfectly researched, exquisitely rendered, no reader could fail to be moved by this story of Australian and New Zealand soldiers.


There is a tender voice in Saxby’s text, an appealing boy at its centre, and an authentic setting.

CBCA: Reading Time Blog

Highly recommended. The home images are fabulous, showing a world more than one hundred years ago, a vastly different wold from the one our readers inhabit, and classes will have a great deal to discuss, looking at the pictures and working out what everything is for, contrasting the clothes that they wear, the things put into the tin, a world away from the things our readers give and receive for Christmas.Another chapter of the story of Australia’s involvement in World War One has been revealed for younger readers enabling them to see how far war reaches, and the attempts by many to send comfort to those fighting on a foreign field.


Read aloud in the classroom or at home, this would make a poignant and heart-warming story to commemorate Anzac Day and an excellent reference book for life in the early 20th century.


This is a divine publication full of movement and nostalgia, beautifully reflecting the daily lives and thoughts of people during the War years.

Kids' Book Review

This wonderful new picture book from successful writer Claire Saxby is a gem. This book will introduce young readers to a little-known aspect of World War I, and a simple way that our troops were supported.

Trevor Cairney Blog

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