Camberwell, Vic: Puffin, 2011
Lower Primary, Primary
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- Arnhem Land (N.T.)
- Family relationships
- Rivers and creeks
The story is written in the third person but is told from the perspective of Jack. Jack's big brother Tom invites him to go fishing. But should they be fishing when there are still crocs in the river?
While not stated, the book appears to be set in Arnhem Land and refers to the Mayali language as a mother language. Additionally, the author uses some Kriol vocabulary within the book's dialogue, but support is given within the text to help readers gain meaning. Leonie Norrington uses descriptive language to build images for the readers, such as: "creamy water, thick with silt" and "shimmering ripples". The author uses dialogue to develop the characters and to bring the adventures alive for readers. The black and white sketches by Terry Denton help break up the print, making this an ideal book to support readers beginning to read longer and more complex chapter books.
The book starts with Tom inviting Jack to go fishing with him. However, the boys do not have permission to go fishing, and Tom has secretly taken Dad's best lure without permission. The river is still high, and Jack is worried about crocodiles. Tom tells Jack to watch for crocodiles. Disaster strikes when a crocodile tries to catch a wallaby. The older boys yell for Jack to run, but he is frozen. Afterwards, Xavier carries Jack to help. His Nana tells him that sometimes when a crocodile scares someone, they transfer some of the crocodile spirits to the person, and then they understand crocodiles and that maybe the crocodile is his totem. The final dilemma is that Dad's lure is still stuck in the river. Will the boys rescue it before Dad finds out about the escapade?
Leonie Norrington was born in Darwin and grew up in the Barunga community in southern Arnhem Land. She was brought up within a mixed culture environment with Aboriginal stories and issues surrounding her. She writes in a mix of English, Kriol and Language, and her stories reflect her life.
- Leonie Norrington website ‘About me’ https://www.leonienorrington.com.au/about
- Ten Things You Need to Know about Leonie Norrington. Children’s books daily by Megan Daley https://childrensbooksdaily.com/book-people-leonie-norrington/
- NITV Barrumbi Kids TV Show Trailer. Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKuuGLcBTb4
- ABC News. Darwin author Leonie Norrington’s book series The Barrumbi Kids to become a TV show. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-04-03/leonie-norrington-darwin-author-barrumbi-kids-tv-show/100947052
- Terry Denton biography on Terry Denton’s website https://www.terrydenton.com.au/bio
- Leonie Norrington, a short memoir ''Old Women's Business: Indigenous Story and Cultural Resilience' IN Griffith Review 42, 10pp https://www.griffithreview.com/wp-content/uploads/Griffith-REVIEW-Edition-42.pdf