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Archive for the ‘A Bear in War’ Category

Oak Bay News calls A Bear in War “a picture book destined to become a Canadian classic”

Posted on November 22nd, 2016 by pajamapress

A Bear in War by Stephanie Innes & Harry Endrulat, illustrated by Brian Deines“This picture book for ages five and older is a true story about Teddy’s remarkable journey from his life in East Farnham, Que., through his voyage overseas and his eventual journey home. Each chapter in Teddy’s tale is brought to life through Brian Deines’ poignant art. The result is a powerful, moving piece of literature – a picture book destined to become a Canadian classic.”

Click here to read the full article “Page Turners: Children’s book titles explore the topic of war”

Honouring Aileen Rogers

Posted on May 12th, 2016 by pajamapress

AileenForWeb

International Nurses’ Day is celebrated around the world on May 12 to mark the generosity and contributions of nurses everywhere, past and present. The date also marks Florence Nightingale’s birthdate; she’s the nurse many consider the founder of modern nursing.

Today we’d like to take the opportunity to honour our favourite historical nurse, Aileen Rogers, who appears in both A Bear in War and Bear on the Homefront, and who helped to safely deliver English children to guest-houses across Canada during World War 2. Aileen was also the original owner of Teddy, who resides at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa and is something of a national celebrity.

Aileen Rogers was born in Montreal in 1905. She contracted polio at a young age and it affected her walking for much of her life. When she was 10 and her father, Lawrence Browning Rogers, went to fight in World War 1, Aileen sent her beloved teddy bear overseas to keep him safe. Years later she graduated as a registered nurse from Montreal General Hospital School of Nursing. She had various nursing jobs, including her work during World War 2, and ended her career as head of McGill University’s health services. She lived in Montreal until she passed away in 1988.

Aileen’s experiences during the second world war were preserved in a diary she kept in 1940 along with hundreds of family letters and memorabilia from the wars. Her niece found these records stored in an old family briefcase in 2002.

Stephanie Innes, Aileen’s great-niece, co-wrote A Bear in War and Bear on the Homefront using her family’s war memorabilia including Aileen’s journal, photographs, hundreds of letters, and Teddy. Stephanie lives in Tucson, Arizona, where she is the senior medical reporter for the Arizona Daily Star.

Learn more about Aileen, Teddy and their family:

Ethel Aileen Rogers
It went to hell and back: Mr. Rogers’ Teddy Bear
A Bear in War (Canada’s History)

 

 

Books to Remember World War I

Posted on July 28th, 2014 by pajamapress

One hundred years ago today, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, launching the Great War that we know today as World War I. Pajama Press is honoured to work with authors and illustrators who create books about this war for new generations, passing on memories of the past so that it need never be repeated.

Dance of the Banished by Marsha Forchuk Skyrpuch
Publication date: August 22, 2014

DanceOfTheBanished_RGB_72dpiAli and his fiancée Zeynep dream about leaving their home in Anatolia and building a new life together in Canada. But their homeland is controlled by the Turkish government, which is on the brink of war with Britain and Russia. And although Ali finds passage to Canada to work, he is forced to leave Zeynep behind until he can earn enough to bring her out to join him.

When the First World War breaks out and Canada joins Britain, Ali is declared an enemy alien. Unable to convince his captors that he is a refugee from an oppressive regime, he is thrown in an internment camp where he must count himself lucky to have a roof over his head and food to eat.

Meanwhile, Zeynep is a horrified witness to the suffering of her Christian Armenian neighbours under the Young Turk revolutionary forces. Caught in a country that is destroying its own people, she is determined to save a precious few. But if her plan succeeds, will Zeynep still find a way to cross the ocean to search out Ali? And if she does, will he still be waiting for her?

A Bear in War written by Stephanie Innes & Harry Endrulat, illustrated by Brian Deines

A Bear In War case mechIn 1915, 37-year-old Lawrence Browning Rogers enlisted in the Fifth Canadian Mounted Rifles, leaving behind his wife, two children, and their farm in East Farnham, Quebec. Over the next two and a half years, the family exchanged hundreds of letters, and daughter Aileen sent her beloved Teddy overseas to keep her father safe. Teddy returned home safely, but Lieutenant Rogers did not; he was killed in the battle of Passchendaele. Eighty-five years later, Lawrence’s granddaughter found Teddy, the letters, and other war memorabilia packed away in a briefcase. Now Lawrence’s great-granddaughter Stephanie Innes and children’s author Harry Endrulat have used those documents to reconstruct a moving story of one family’s love and sacrifice—a story shared by the families of so many soldiers who have lost their lives in the defense of their country.

Accompanied by family photographs and Brian Deines‘ poignant art, A Bear in War is more than one family’s testament to a brave soldier. It is a gentle introduction to war, to Remembrance Day, and to the honor of those who have served their countries.

Through the Looking Glass calls A Bear in War a “remarkable book”

Posted on November 6th, 2013 by pajamapress

A Bear In War case mech“Inspired by the true story of a teddy bear “that was sent to the front lines during World War I” this remarkable book will give children a sense of what it was like living on the home front. They will also find out what it was like to witness a war from the inside of a war medic’s pocket. Aileen’s father’s great-granddaughter, Stephanie Innes, wrote this story with author Harry Endulat, and it serves as a tribute to the young men who left their homes and families to serve in WWI. It also shows to great effect that people left at home had to have courage too. It was not easy living with worry and fear.”

– Marya Jansen-Gruber

Click here to read the full review.

A Bear in War Book Trailer

Posted on May 17th, 2013 by pajamapress

A Bear in War was released in the United States this month in time for Memorial Day. This true story of young Aileen Rogers’ teddy bear, who watched World War I from the pocket of her father’s uniform, captured hearts across Canada when it was first published in 2008, but the book’s original publisher closed its doors shortly after. Pajama Press brought the book back to print in 2012 and now it is available in the United States for the first time.

Click the link below to watch the official book trailer

A Bear in War Book Trailer

 

School Library Journal review of A Bear in War

Posted on March 18th, 2013 by pajamapress

“Aileen was a 10-year-old Canadian whose father fought in Europe during World War I. She had a small teddy bear that she treasured and carried with her everywhere until she sent it to her father in Belgium, where he served as a medic. He carried Teddy with him, just as his daughter had. In fact, Teddy was with him when he died on the battleground. Eventually the bear was returned to Aileen. This tender story is punctuated throughout with newspaper cuttings, photos, medals, and other realia from the time period. The endpapers are old family letters and the illustrations are evocative of a time when life was simpler but perhaps not as easy. The palette is muted and soft, which makes the story seem comfortable and safe…The history, the illustrations, and the story itself combine to make a wonderful testimonial to a family who made the greatest sacrifice for their country in World War I…”—Joan Kindig, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA

A Bear in War is “touching…beautiful…heartwarming.”—Library of Clean Reads

Posted on January 28th, 2013 by pajamapress

“This touching book based on the true story of the Rogers family and a tiny teddy bear brought tears to my eyes and made my son sad for a family who lost a beloved member. Aileen Rogers, a 10 year old girl who lived on a farm in East Farnham, Quebec in 1915, owned a small stuffed bear named Teddy. When her father, Lawrence, enlisted to go fight in the war in Europe, and his letters reveal that he was cold and tired and missed them terribly while in the trenches, she decided to send him her teddy bear to remind him of home and to keep him safe.

The story is told from the point of view of the teddy bear, and I thought this was well done as a way to gently introduce the concept of war to the child reading it…

…This is a beautiful story and a beautifully illustrated book, with heartwarming moments of family time and love.”

—Laura Fabiani

Click here to read the full review.

Canadian Materials Highly Recommends A Bear in War

Posted on December 14th, 2012 by pajamapress

coverA Bear in War gently introduces young children to war. This true story about Lawrence Browning Rogers’ life is told from Teddy’s perspective. The innocence of Teddy’s voice is deeply comforting and will resonate with its young audience. Co-authors Innes and Endrulat do not shield the reader from the sadness war brings but choose to demonstrate it with tremendous sensitivity. Deines’ exquisite oil paintings beautifully couple the innocence and sensitivity that Innes and Endrulat create. Each illustration is soft in its rendering and also expresses a depth of emotion that moves the reader. Simply put, A Bear in War is a story that parents must read to their children.

Highly Recommended.

—Inderjit Deogun is a poet in Toronto, ON.

Click here to read the full review.

Letters from WWI: Dear Mrs. Rogers

Posted on November 12th, 2012 by pajamapress

Lieutenant Lawrence Browning Rogers, aged 37, travelled to the front lines of World War One as a medic in the Fifth Canadian Mounted Rifles in 1915. He left behind his wife, May, his ten-year-old daughter, Aileen, and his seven-year-old son, Howard. The family exchanged hundreds of letters, ten of which we have shared over the last two weeks. This letter came to May following Lawrence’s death during the battle of Passchendaele.

Lawrence Rogers in uniform

Lawrence Rogers in uniform

France

Nov. 3, 1917

Dear Mrs. Rogers -

Words written or spoken would fail to express to you our sympathies with you in your sad bereavement.

Mr. Rogers was more than a comrade to both. Dan and myself and I can assure you we both feel the loss of such a comrade deeply.

We have at least one consolation. His sacrifice will not have been made in vain.

His medical work will be remembered by many who have been attended by him in the field and many a poor fellow has departed this world with little pain thanks to the untiring efforts of Mr. rogers.

Our Empire and our God I am sure cannot forget such deeds.

In your sorrow remember that our God knows best what is good for us, and I am sure it is God’s will that our comrade should be called to higher service.

Mr. Rogers died serving his God and Country, what better and nobler death could a man die.

In closing kindly permit Dan and myself to again offer you our sincerest sympathies.

Yours sincerely,

J.M. Wright

The Rogers family’s story is preserved in the picture book A Bear in War. For more information, including more letters, visit www.abearinwar.com.

Letters from WWI: Loneliness

Posted on November 9th, 2012 by pajamapress

Lieutenant Lawrence Browning Rogers, aged 37, travelled to the front lines of World War One as a medic in the Fifth Canadian Mounted Rifles in 1915. He left behind his wife, May, his ten-year-old daughter, Aileen, and his seven-year-old son, Howard. The family exchanged hundreds of letters, many of which were kept by their descendents. This is one of them.

May feeding the chickens at the farm

May feeding the chickens at the farm

453 Grosvenor Ave.

Westmount

Oct. 17, 1917

Dear Laurie

Think of it. I have sent you Christmas boxes already. What they said is we must do so early to ensure delivery. There will be such a lot. I had to pack in two boxes I marked them 1 & 2.

There are a couple of little gifts for Dan, they are marked from children and from me. Aileen made a sweater herself…excuse some uneven places. There is a lot of love and devotion knit into it. Howard saved up his money and that is hard, and bought your present himself and we did enjoy purchasing it.

I have been pretty sick for a week. Was not able to go out. Had to get what I could on Victoria Avenue. Have not been out for a week. Terrible pain in back across shoulders.

I guess it must be my age is breaking me up. Oh Laurie, I am so afraid it may make an invalid of me as it does of lots of women and the children need me. Pray for me to be spared that.

Children are working hard at school… Poor Aileen struggles along. I did not send her to dancing. Cost too much and she did not seem to want to go much.   So I want to give her music and can’t do everything. I have all the money I need. Don’t send me any. You may need it.

If only I could see you again I think it would make a different woman of me. Loneliness is eating my heart out and yours probably too.

I must go and get dinner for kiddies, love from us all and hoping for your leave.

I am always yours,

May

The Rogers family’s story is preserved in the picture book A Bear in War. For more information, including more letters, visit www.abearinwar.com.