The Anzac Biscuit man is based on the classic tale of ‘The Gingerbread Man’ a baked biscuit that comes to life and runs away in the hope that he will not be eaten. I love how Peter Millet’s version has so many Kiwi colloquialisms, “cool bananas” “hunky-dory” and of course the catch cry of the Anzac biscuit man “Rattle your dags as fast as you can. You can’t dunk me, I’m the Anzac biscuit man”. Although ‘Rattle your dags” is something I was quite familiar with (two parents who grew up in rural NZ) it was a phrase I had to explain to my young readers who were not at all familiar with the concept.
The illustrations are bold and expressive, with the action spreading across pages as the Anzac biscuit man makes his ill-fated journey. Shaun Yeo has included so much expression in the character’s faces and little details make the characters seem to leap off the page.
Included on the back page is a recipe for ANZAC biscuits, this is a wonderful addition and I’m sure many readers will be baking biscuits after reading the story.
A perfect read aloud, it is fun, action packed and loaded with laughs with a distinctly Kiwi feel to the story. Who could resist chiming in with the phrase “Rattle your dags as fast as you can”?!
Title: The Anzac Biscuit Man
Author: Peter Millett
Illustrator: Shaun Yeo
Publisher: Bateman Publishing
Date of Publication: October 2019
Reviewer: Louana McCormack, Opaheke School, Auckland
How highly are you recommending this book? Highly recommended
What’s the book’s opening sentence? Once upon a time, there lived and old man and an old woman who loved baking biscuits.
You can buy this book here