The Last Light Horse

Download Teachers’ Notes (pdf)

LLH 800px high
Click for hi-res cover

Written by Dianne Wolfer
Illustrated by Brian Simmonds
Published by Fremantle Press, April 2022

  • CBCA Notable Book 2023
  • Longlisted: Book Links 2023 Award for Children’s Historical Fiction
  • Adapted for CineStage by Theatre 180

from your local bookshop or from
Fremantle Press (Australia)
Booktopia (Australia)
Book Depository (UK)
Amazon (UK)

Listen to Dianne read the first page. / Watch her receive the first copy!

Read an article about the ‘Light’ series on the Chauvel Foundation website.

Read ABC article about Sandy


Lexs magnif Hat reversal #1-2

There were 136,000 Australian horses sent to fight during the First World War. Just one came home. From the high country of Victoria to the desert sand of Egypt, from the waters off Gallipoli to the battlefields of France, this is the extraordinary story of Sandy, the only returning warhorse.

The Last Light Horse is the fourth and final book in the Light series, which began with Lighthouse Girl and includes the CBCA shortlisted Light Horse Boy. The story grew out of research for other ‘Light’ books and has just been honoured as a 2023 CBCA Notable Book. The Light series has also been adapted for CineStage by Theatre 180. Sandy is represented by a magnificent puppet head, which you can see on this clip. it’s a beautiful adaptation.

On May 20th a sculpture of Sandy will be unveiled in Tallangatta, commemorating 100 years since the warhorse’s death in Maribyrnong. I look forward to attending and meeting some of the people who helped with my research. Click here for known and imagined details about Sandy. And another interesting article.

Teachers’ Notes

Other book in the series

Lighthouse Girl cover
Lighthouse Girl
Light Horse Boy
In The Lamplight


  • Better Readings has nominated The Last Light Horse as its Kids Book of the Week. Here are a few snippets from their reviewDianne Wolfer’s Light series is a standout historical book series for kids … The Last Light Horse is a fantastic conclusion to the series and a heartfelt look at an unsung hero … With an educational focus and breathtaking illustrations, this is one inspiring story of courage and sacrifice, perfect for fans of Stephen Spielberg’s War Horse.
  • The Last Light Horse does a brilliant job in evoking strong emotions from the reader using many different mediums … This book will be a fantastic addition to libraries everywhere and especially to school libraries when the curriculum looks into the First World War. Sarah Custance, StoryLinks.
  • I rated this book five stars out of five because it shows Australia’s perspective of the war and has beautiful illustrations. It should be for people interested in history to read. Gabriel, aged 11, Alphabet Soup.


I rarely make suggestions for illustration, however this story is so close to my heart, that I had fun scribbling a few ideas to share with Fremantle Press Children’s Publisher, Cate Sutherland. Working with Brian Simmonds again was great and luckily he’s a lot more skilled than me.

At least the lines on the boat are similar!

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