In World War II–era Britain, young women on the homefront replace fighting men by volunteering for service in the Women’s Timber Corps.
Each “with two hands willing to work and one stout heart,” the Lumber Jills pull woolen socks up to their knees, bid their families farewell, settle into primitive bunkhouses, and learn how “to chop and saw and split” England and Scotland’s trees and haul them from forest to mill. Overcoming blisters and bunkhouse boredom, the Lumber Jills cheerfully perform their work in sun and snow to provide timber crucial for the war effort. The cadenced, repetitive text appropriately echoes the rhythmic tempos and motions of chopping, cutting, and sawing. Sprightly, busy watercolor illustrations showcase sturdy, smiling, white Lumber Jills clad in gum boots, green berets, green sweaters, and green trousers while toting axes and logs and capture the forest venue as well as wartime atmosphere. Inclusion of background posters promoting women’s participation in war work adds relevant period detail while a concluding historical note offers commentary on the vital role women played in the lumber industry during the war.
A rousing, upbeat introduction to the camaraderie and contributions of the “unsung heroines of World War II” who cut 10 million trees for Britain. (author’s note) (Informational picture book. 3-5)