book cover My Grandad Marches on Anzac Day
by Catriona Hoy

Picture book | 32 pp | Years 24

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[ Developing values | Overview | Author & illustrator profiles | Useful websites | Focus questions ]

Developing values

  • I am part of a family that has a past, present and future.
  • Events of the past can affect the lives of the present.
  • The lifestyle we enjoy now has been built on the contributions of previous generations.
  • We commemorate significant events that are important to us, our families and our nation.
  • We can show our respect and gratitude in many ways.
  • Each country has its own flag, anthem and other symbols that identify who they are and what they value.
  • Learning about others' lives helps us understand them better.


Every year at bedtime on 24 April thousands of families set their alarm clocks for a very early start the next morning. For some, it is the only day of the year that they see the dawn, as they rug up in hats, coats, gloves and scarves and head for the local war memorial to participate in the Dawn Service commemorating the events of 25 April 1915.

My Grandad Marches on Anzac Day tells the story of one family's involvement in this day, but at the same time it is a story that is true for many families.

This book can be used to help younger students begin to understand the significance of Anzac Day, as well as expanding the knowledge of those who know a little about it already.

Author & illustrator profiles

Catriona Hoy spends part of her life teaching science to secondary students and the other part writing stories for children. My Grandad Marches on Anzac Day was written about her children's grandfather who fought with the British army in World War II. You can read more about Catriona (and her latest book) on her website at

My Grandad Marches on Anzac Day is the first picture book that Benjamin Johnson has illustrated. He was born in Melbourne in 1975, and as a child he dreamed of being a famous artist. When he graduated from Northern Metropolitan Institute of TAFE in Melbourne, he won an award for excellence for his work. You can see more of his work at

Useful websites

Focus questions

Before reading the book

My Grandad Marches on Anzac Day is a special story for this little girl but it could also be your story. Think about these questions before you read so you can focus your thoughts.

  • What do you know about Anzac Day already?
  • What does it mean to you?
  • How is your grandfather related to you?
  • Do you think this little girl's grandfather is old enough to have been an original Anzac?
  • Where might his medals have come from?
  • Why do you think he marches?

During and after reading the book

  • Why do you think the author did not give the little girl a name?
  • If there were no words on pp 34, how would we know that it was cold and dark?
  • What are some of the ways you can use your face and body to show how you are feeling without using words?
  • Why do so many people get up early to attend the Dawn Service?
  • Why do you think so many attend the 10 am march?
  • What does the little girl mean when she says, 'He marches for all his friends who can't march. He marches for us.'?
  • Why is it important to Grandad that he marches each year?
  • Why is it important to us that the march is held each year?
  • How do the marchers feel as they go past the crowds? Why?
  • Grandad was not at the original Gallipoli campaign in World War I, so which war might he have won his medals in?
  • What memories will the little girl have of her day?

© Curriculum Corporation 2006