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Children's Book of the Month

This touching play brings to life the Second World War in a very accessible way for junior children

- Books for Keeps



Bombs & Blackberries

A short illustrated play set in World War Two, perfect for class reading as well as performance, written by Julia Donaldson, author of the modern classic The Gruffalo. Perfect for the 75th Anniversary of D-Day in 2019. World War Two has been declared and the Chiver's children are sent to the safety of the countryside.

They are delighted to be brought back home when it looks like the Germans aren't going to invade after all. But the air-raid siren goes off and this time it's frighteningly real. This dramatic and touching play brings Manchester during the Second World War and its people to life, and provides a variety of opportunities for school classes to explore both historical and literacy topics in an involving and creative setting.

Also includes helpful tips on staging and costume.

Meet the Author - Julia Donaldson

Six of Julia Donaldson’s books have been turned into award-winning films shown on the BBC, and her work is widely adapted for children’s theatre in the UK and abroad. She is also famous for her shows based on her books that she performs with music and song at literary festivals and other events. Julia, together with her husband Malcolm, founded their own theatre company to perform two medleys of her work at the Edinburgh Fringe and other venues.

In 2011 Julia was appointed as the UK’s Children's Laureate. During her laureateship she undertook a tour of libraries from John O'Groats to Lands’ End to publicise the plight of libraries in the UK. The National Portrait Gallery commissioned Peter Monkman to paint Julia, and this portrait of her in her “props room” now hangs in the gallery. She received an MBE in 2011 for her services to literature and a CBE in 2018. Julia and Malcolm live in the UK and divide their time between Sussex and Edinburgh.

Meet the Illustrator - Thomas Docherty

Thomas spent a lot of time at school doodling in his rough book and at home copying the characters his favourite comic books, borrowed from the local library. However, it wasn’t until after he had studied sculpture at Art College that he thought seriously about becoming an illustrator. Thomas had always kept sketch book diaries, particularly when he travelled somewhere new, and it was these that inspired his first illustrated stories. The second of these, Little Boat was shortlisted for the prestigious Kate Greenaway Medal in 2009. Since then Thomas’s books have won numerous awards and he has collaborated with authors such as Julia Donaldson (Bombs and Blackberries / Chariots and Champions) and Jenny Colgan (The Polly and the Puffin series). Thomas lives with his wife, the author Helen Docherty and their two daughters in Swansea. Together Helen and Thomas have created the internationally acclaimed picture books The Snatchabook, Abracazebra and The Knight Who Wouldn’t Fight, which have been translated into over 24 languages.  Thomas still produces most of his illustrations by hand, using dip pens, coloured inks and stencils. He also does a lot of educational work, teaching at local Art Colleges and helping children and young adults create their own illustrated stories. When Thomas is not illustrating, he likes walking the coast path with his family and sketching the landscape. Since living in Wales Thomas has learnt Welsh.

Also by Julia Donaldson   |  See more

Also Illustrated by Tom Docherty   |  See more