The Little Stowaway: A true story by Vicki Bennett and Tull Suwannakit

A french orphan boy, the first world war. 

Cold and hungry he stumbles upon the Australian flying corps.

There he meets Tim Tovell, a man who is about to change his life forever.

Vicki Bennett has captured the essence of this amazing story through delicate words combined with the sepia sketches of talented Tull Suwannakit.

It is close to the end of the first world war and many french people are homeless and hungry.

Luckily for young Honore, a now orphan, he stumbles upon an Australian army camp and meets Tim Tovell.

Tim and other army men take care of Honore by giving him food, skating lessons and even flights in their planes.

When news breaks that the war is over, Tim must be creative in how he can take Honore to Australia to be his adopted son, and live a life free of hunger and loneliness.

You’ll be in awe of what Tim did and what Honore had to endure to get back to Australia safe and sound – and then eventually part of a new family.

The Little Stowaway is a book for all teachers and parents to read to children of primary school age.

Younger children will delight in the story of adventure and love while older children can see how valiant acts of bravery – even the small ones can make a huge difference.

Tull Suwannakit’s illustrations are amazing, they really capture the emotions of the characters and the feel of what life was like during the war.

Real photographs are also included in this book, giving readers a real insight into who these people were and the fact that they were real!

This is a great resource for ANZAC day, lessons in resilience, Why we need to care for others and an outlook towards how we can make the world a better place.

I hope you enjoy!

Activities for this book

History

Brainstorm questions about World War One and what it was like for soldiers

Was it right to smuggle Honoré home? Students can discuss whether he should have been left in France or whether bringing him back to Australia was the right thing to do.

Can you find another true story like this one? 

Literacy

What is a stowaway?

How did Honore feel throughout the book? 

Plot the feelings for both Honore and Tim on a chart that links events in the story. How are their feelings  the same and different during the story?

Write a description of TIm & Honore – characteristics, personality, looks, actions etc. 

Stowaway is a compound word. Find some other compound words throughout the story.

Visual Literacy

Why have they included real photographs?

Why are the illustrations in sepia? What is the significance of the red highlights throughout the book?

Find an old family photo from your family and sketch an activity the family does together to show more than just a portrait

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