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Archies Letter: An Anzac Day Story

Author: Flanagan,Martin

Illustrator: Walters,Ainsley

Item Code: 8126804

Product Type: Book

Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9780980794878



RRP: $19.99
Our Price: $13.99
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  • Description
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  • About Illustrator
On Anzac Day 2010, a 96-year-old man in Hobart, a returned soldier from World War II, wrote a letter to the local paper thanking the people who were going to that morning's dawn service. Who was this man? Why did he write this letter?

Archie's Letter tells the story of an ordinary man who went off to fight in World War II. His experiences included surviving the Burma Railway, where he was under the command of Australian war hero, Weary Dunlop.

Archie's Letter also tells how he dealt with his wartime experiences; how at the age of 91 he agreed to meet a group of elderly Japanese women interested in world peace; how he could never forget the young men who were with him during the war and who didn't come back.

Genre: Historical Fiction

Learning Area: History

Reading Level: Upper Primary, Lower Secondary

School Year: Year 5, Year 6, Year 7, Year 8

Ages: 10 to 14

Page Count: 40

Ainsley Walters

Where were you born? Where do you live now?


Where did you go to school?

My family moved around a bit when I was little so I went to primary schools in Melbourne, Brisbane and Vanuatu. High school, I went to MLC in Melbourne.

Did you have a nickname?
Just Ains.

What were you like in school?

Pretty shy!

What is the naughtiest thing you did?
Gosh! I can’t tell — it’s a secret! No, only joking... I was such a nerd :)

What was your favourite book growing up?
I loved the Cairo Jim books!

Who is your favourite children’s author?
Graeme Base.

What is your favourite food/colour/movie?
Mexican/Red/Out of Africa.

Who inspired you to illustrate?

My mum and Walt Disney!

How did you get started?
I started when aged about 5, just drawing pictures for my brothers and sister. And then later in life after I finished school I began learning about illustrating techniques and teaching myself to paint with the help of art books and Youtube!

How old were you at that stage?
About 22.

Why did you want to be an illustrator?
I was really inspired by the beautiful background art from the early Disney movies such as Snow White and Sleeping Beauty. Also by great artists such as Monet, Sidney Nolan and Van Gogh. It’s not just about looking at these works of art that makes you want to paint, it’s a feeling you get when you look at them — like going into the artist’s world.

How do you think up ideas?
Most of the books I have illustrated so far have been based on historical events, so I basically start out by doing quite a bit of research, gathering old photos and books, and even taking photos myself to help develop an illustration.

Do you have a special place where you illustrate?
I think it is nice to have a creative space to work, with good natural light. I am just about to set up a new art studio in my house which will have a big table to paint on, a console bench to prepare and store paints, and a bookshelf for inspiring art books!

What is the best thing about being an illustrator?
Helping to bring a story to life and hoping that maybe one day my illustrations might bring some inspiration to children, just as the artists of the past once did for me.

Have you had any funny or embarrassing moments as an illustrator?
One of my paintings was auctioned at a book launch once, which was pretty nerve-racking! I had to stand right next to it while there were lots of zero bids coming my way. All I wanted to do was hide at the back! But hey, it sold so phew!

What do you do when you are not illustrating?
I’m  studying archaeology at uni.

What would you have chosen to be if you were not an illustrator?
Hopefully I will get to do all the things I love at some point in my life, from archaeology to science ... and of course painting!

Which famous people from the past would you like to talk to?
Walt Disney and Albert Einstein.

Website/blog details
Coming soon...

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