Chunyart and the Cheeky Parrot
Sandy Fordham, Rosalie Okely , Richard Walley
Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority, 2013
5-8yrs, Lower Primary, Primary
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English, Noongar / Nyungar / Nyungah languages (W41) (WA SI50)
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- Bush tucker
- Childhood and youth
- Glossaries and vocabularies
- Hunting and gathering
- Noongar (WA41) (WSI50)
- Parent and child
- Relationship to place
- Social life and customs
- Wild foods
- Witchetty grubs
‘Chunyart and the Cheeky Parrot’ is an engaging tale about how the traditional Noongar people of Western Australia used plants to sustain human life through food, medicine, shelter, protection and tools. A comprehensive list of Noongar words and their definitions is provided at the beginning of the book, and these Indigenous words appear in the same distinctive font and in bold in the body of the text.
Mixing mischief, humour and traditional knowledge, the story is related from the perspective a young boy called Chunyart, whose name means ‘28 Parrot’––the distinctive bird that is his totem animal. Also known as the Australian ringneck parrot, it has a distinctive bright yellow ring around its neck and stunning blue-and-green plumage.
Young Chunyart is both excited and nervous about his first hunting trip with his father and the other men at Kaarta Koomba––now known as King Park in Western Australia. During this trip, despite the parrot’s attempts to lead him astray, Chunyart learns important lessons about living off the land and fitting in with others.
The full-colour digital illustrations include silhouettes, portraits and patterning, and they capture the ups and downs of Chunyart’s special day and the amazing animals and plants that he encounters. There is also a wealth of information at the back of the book, including the six seasons in the Noongar calendar, and details about the trees and plants that Chunyart discovers on his day out hunting with is dad.
Alton Walley is a Noongar man from southwest Western Australia, with family connections to the Wadjuk, Balardong, Warden, Yuat, Pinjareb and Wilman and Yamatji people. His totem is the 28 Parrot. He has performed with the Middar Indigenous dance group. Dr Richard Barry Walley OAM is a Nyungar man, one of Australia's leading Aboriginal performers, musicians and writers.
- Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority—Cultural Heritage. ‘Kings Park and Botanic Gardens, Teacher Resources.’ https://www.bgpa.wa.gov.au/kings-park/events/kings-park-education/teacher-resources/cultural-heritage-resources
- Aboriginal Productions. ‘Cultural Awareness: Interview with author, Alton Walley.’ http://aboriginalproductions.com.au/chunyart-and-the-cheeky-parrot-interview-with-alton-walley/
- Birdlife Australia. Australian Ringneck https://www.birdlife.org.au/bird-profile/australian-ringneck
- Australian Ringneck parrots - An Aussie success story https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHrax774nBU