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3.93  ·  Rating details ·  460 ratings  ·  43 reviews
A Moreton Bay Fig tree, planted as a memorial to Australian soldiers killed in World War I, is slated to be cut down by the local council. A young boy tells the moving story of the tree, as related by his great grandfather, grandfather, and father, each of whom has participated in wars over the years. Interweaving themes of war, memory, and conservation, this book blends a ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published June 11th 2004 by Simply Read Books (first published 1999)
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Average rating 3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  460 ratings  ·  43 reviews

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Oct 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I love finding books new to me in the library, and to find another book illustrated by Shaun Tan is a marvelous surprise. Here is a beauty of a book, filled with Tan’s gorgeous painting/collages of different wars in America, spoken about through the memories of a young boy, his great-grandfather, grandfather and father. The problem discussed is the town tree, planted long ago after World War I, but now uprooting a permanent statue, obstructing the view of traffic, and taking up too much space. Y ...more
Sep 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
I was in the library for a lesson and I had some free time at the end of the lesson. I saw this picture book on one of the stands. The minute I saw the authors names I grabbed it. I love Gary Crew's stories. I've loved his works such as The Watertower, Beneath the Surface, Old Ridley and Caleb. I also read The Arrival by Shaun Tan, so when I saw they had done a collaborative work I couldn't stop myself from devouring it within seconds.

This was such a beautiful story. It was so simple and the il
Nov 24, 2015 rated it it was ok
At first memorial seemed almost like a scrap book with simple recollections of stories told to a child. However afte we read into the book more, we saw the book as implying the message of whether we should focus on looking at the memories we have in our heads or physically represent them. The themes within the book focus on war and memories. The reader would possibly need to know about events which happened within the war, to understand key events. However saying this, I do not know an awful lot ...more
Jan 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Australians, Ex-Service personnel, Artists, Historians
A beautiful collaboration between Gary Crew (author) and Shaun Tan (artist), centered around the planting, growth and eventual destruction of a Morton Bay Fig tree, planted in memorial of those lost in World War One. The story spans generations and wars, in a captivating format of drawn photos merging with faces, paintings and timelines, of seedlings and flying bugs, the words and pictures a stunning memorial of the fallen and gives an honest glimpse of what ANZAC Day means to many Australians.

May 05, 2014 rated it liked it
I found this book as a realistic look at 4 generations of return soldiers - each one participating in a different war explaining to the youngest member of the family about the Morton Bay Fig that was planted as a memorial for the returned soldiers from World War I, and the memories each person had of this tree, down to the fight to stop it getting cut down. It discusses the value of memories and the question of do we need a physical object to act as a reminder.
The book which has been richly illu
Sulis Peri Hutan
Dec 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pinjem
review lengkap

Then he smile and says, 'still, that don't mean they'll forget you. it's the fight in you they'll remember. that memory won't die - not like my old bones. even concrete and rock won't last forever. but memories, now they're different. memories, they're ever-livin' things. like you say, son, like our tree...'
Miss Wilson
May 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Luis Flores
Jan 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
The book is about a family that is talking about a tree that was planted along with a statue that place was placed next to it as a memorial for solders of the war. The grandfather was there when the tree was placed, the father and the mother were use to play in the tree, the father also remembers visiting the statue when he came back from Vietnam war. Overall the significance of the tree and the statue is more than just a tree and a statue for many people. The visuals are eye catching, sometimes ...more
Sep 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book has absolutely beautiful illustrations including actual pictures, realistic drawings, and beautiful artwork. The book also sends such an amazing message, that this family, everyone has a connection to this tree and the youngest, the child, wants to fight for the tree to stay. It also sends a message of how important it is to keep memorials in their place. Especially in America, we have the idea that we need everything to be reinvented and new every 20 years, which is totally wrong. It ...more
Cheriee Weichel
Nov 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Make this 4 1/2 stars. When men come back from World War I a statue of an unknown soldier is erected, and a small tree is planted in memory of those who served and didn’t return. Three generations remember their return from war ceremonies under the tree. A child from the fourth generation does his best to save the tree from being cut down.
This is best for older readers as the text and images are complex and require close attention to understand the message. Just like war itself, this has an unh
Ailsa Graham
Sep 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
"Memorial" by Gary Crew is a portrait book with borders that include leaves, taps, pictures and tiles with designed. The illustrations goes within two pages and the text appears on random objects. The story itself tells the story of a family and their community, as the grandpa comes back from WWI and plants a tree. The tree itself is a memorial of the struggles each family member has gone through. Although the tree may be cut down the memories with the tree for each family member survives.
Sep 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
This books illustrations what definitely something new and interesting i've never seen before. It was a full bleed book but with seperate illustrations in boarders. Every pages art layout was different. Some pages it would take up the whole two pages with very little illustrations. I honestly don't like how this book is set up. The drawing are also boring and seem to be made on with technology but i'm not sure.
Sean Harding
Nov 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Another cracking good read from Crew, who deceives with his seemingly normal picture books, which actually are a world of beauty and mystery, or wonder and sadness, and inspiration. This one whilst more grounded in the real world, has a whole range of emotions, and brings up issues to discuss, all in a shore picture book. Crew is a genius!
Alejandro Villa
Feb 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
I love the structure of this. Its formatted like a picture book in the beginning pages grasping the moments of the past all bundle up an eye opening story. Also, I enjoy the story going along written in an illustration of old pieces of papers. Its as if they were little notes on the side that lead to the big plot of they story. Such an enjoyable book to read or listen to.
Freddie D
Jun 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: australian
Shaun Tan's illustrations... I mean, WOW. Moving slowly through the pages of this book is akin to visiting an exhibition at an art gallery. Immersive, powerful and beautiful. A lovely book that connects various intergenerational and wartime memories all linked to a beautiful (but inevitably doomed) tree.
Jan 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book stopped me in my tracks ... both words and pictures are haunting and beautiful and so relevant to now
ashes ➷
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love Shaun Tan so much... such a short, soft story, and yet so powerful. Crew's words and Tan's art combine perfectly; would strongly recommend for anyone who likes gorgeous children's books.

As this review is primarily for 50books_poc, it's going to focus on the illustrations by Shaun Tan. Having said that, the story (comments by three generations of a family on the importance of the Moreton Bay Fig that forms part of the town's war memorial, now threatened by 'progress') is stunning, and raises multiple issues/discussion points that my small group at the Hebrew Scriptures intensive I did recently had a great deal of fun discussing.

The illustrations, though - oh, the illustrations.
Feb 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Australians firstly, but all people need to be reminded of the sacrifice of their soldiers
Despite having come across Gary Crew's work previously, I must confess it was Shaun Tan's involvement that made me pick this book up off the shelves. The marriage of the two of them in producing this is what ensured I did not replace it at the shop but left, rather guiltily feeling that I should not be spending money on children's books when there were so many other important things I needed. Each time I read it there is confirmation that I did the right thing.
In Australia, each generation has b
Sara Berrafato
Oct 23, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture
This is my second Author Study Book Review. Memorial by Gary Crew, illustrated by Shaun Tan, is the story of a boy who is learning about war from the perspective of his father, grandfather, and great grandfather. Throughout the story, the author reveals that a memorial statue or memorial tree may have to be torn down within a small community and even though it is terrible, the boy realizes that what lasts is the memory. Through the simple story and vivid images, the reader learns the importance ...more
Jack Kirby and the X-man
This is a touching tribute to the small-town war memorial.

It represents what was a very small window of opportunity for a young boy to hear and understand the stories of his great-grandfather (World War I), grandfather (World War II) and father (Vietnam War) centred around their return from war and the celebrations that occured at the war memorial. With just one World War I survivor still with us in Australia the opportunity for a real-life version of this story is just about gone...

Shaun Tan
Mary Refalo
Apr 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Memorial is a war story that traces the involvement in war of the male members of one Australian family through the 20th Century. Acclaimed Australian picture-book writers and illustrators, Gary Crew and Shaun Tan, use significant motifs on which to pivot the retrospective story of the young protagonist's great-grandfather, grandfather and father. The key element of the narrative is the future of the war memorials, both living and concrete, in the centre of the town square. Memorial is a picture ...more
MaryKathryn Lambert
Oct 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kelli Ryne
Jul 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book
This artistic and beautifully told story allows students to approach a dialogue about memorials-- why do we have them, what is their purpose, how do they differ? Each character has a different relationship to the memorial which can be examined in studying criticisms and support of the Vietnam Memorial if studying that particular war. Students can compare and contrast memorials, discuss what they say about a national conscious of war and collective memory. Students may also use it in order to do ...more
Mr G's Bees
Nov 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Difficult to understand the first time, but after reading carefully a few times more the links start to become clearer. Provokes thinking about the importance of physical places for memorial purposes. Are memories best left treasured in our minds? Should we sacrifice places of great importance to individuals? Do the needs of many outweigh the needs of the few? After all, the tree was there first...

The reader may need to have some understanding of when the World Wars took place, and their dates a
The Reading Countess
May 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Shaun Tan prompted me to check Memorial out (Tales from Suburbia and The Arrival). The illustrations (naturally) don't disappoint. But the overaching story is what leaves me reeling. Ironically, I read this on the eve of Memorial Day weekend. Younger generations threaten to chop down the tree planted three generations ago in memory of the soldiers returning from war. This tale masterfully weaves the story of three generations living with the beloved tree, and the power of memories despite the ph ...more
Louise (A Strong Belief in Wicker)
It's hard not to love a book by Gary Crew and Shaun Tan! Both are fabulous, and together they are fantastic. This book from 1999 looks back to the end of the First World War in 1918. Returning soldiers plant a tree in the town square. The tree grows into an impressive memorial, too impressive, the roots start being a problem in the eyes of the local council, and it's future is under a cloud. Tan's beautiful, moving illustrations add so much to Gary Crew's story. An impressive read for the older ...more
Jonathan Balun
I thought that this book was really good. The animation is superb. Memorial is a picture book. It is the story of a young boy, and his relationship with a tree that was planted in town as part of a war memorial for the soldiers returning from WWI. The tree is part of the memory of three generations of his family that served in various wars. Now the city wants to cut it down. I checked this book out for a 4th grader. It seemed a little heavy for him. However, I liked it.
Jul 25, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009
Again this demonstrates the sheer versatility of Shaun Tan as an artist. Gary Crew's story of the life and death of a fig tree planted to commemorate World War I is illustrated in soft greys and yellows by Tan and is narrated through multiple viewpoints at different stages of the fig tree's growth. It's a metaphor for the way men have been cut down in war and yet continue to live on in memories.
The Styling Librarian
Memorial by Gary Crew, illustrated by Shaun Tan – Beautiful celebration of memories and reflection, life and war. I was quite excited to read this book and enjoy more brilliant beautiful illustrations of Shaun Tan. I was excited to share Shaun Tan’s work with my son, even though it is quite a sad story. We watched a promotion of The Lost Thing online to prepare ourselves.
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Dr Gary Crew, author of novels, short stories and picture books for older children and young adults, began his writing career in 1985, when he was a high school teacher. His books are challenging and intriguing, often based on non-fiction. As well as writing fiction, Gary is a Associate Professor in Creative Writing, Children's and Adult Literature, at the University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensl ...more

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