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Nice Day For a War, a graphic novel described as “one part war comic and two parts history,” has been selected as the 2012 New Zealand Post Children’s Book of the Year. It also won in the non-fiction category.
Written by Matt Elliot and illustrated Chris Slane, the book is based on the World War I diaries of Elliot’s grandfather, Cpl. Cyril Elliot, who enlisted in the military as a teenager, lured by the promise of travel and adventure.
“Couldn’t really have gone any better, it’s completely overwhelming, as I’ve been saying it’s just two great surprises,” the author told NZCity.
Nice Day For a War blends comics with postcards, letters, photos, official histories, and art created in the trenches by the soldiers themselves. Gillian Candler, the convenor of judges, said the book provides young readers with an honest glimpse into the lives of soldiers during World War I. “The beautiful fluid line drawings and muted watercolor washes bring the diary to life,” she said. “The interplay between the illustrations and text creates a powerful, emotionally engaging story for young readers.”
Check out pages from Nice Day For a War, published by HarperCollins, below.