No Way Yirrikipayi!
Children from Milikapiti School, Melville Island
Children from Milikapiti School
Indigenous Literacy Foundation, 2015
3-4yrs, 5-8yrs, Lower Primary, Primary
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English, Tiwi Language (N20) (NT SC52-16)
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- Children as artists
- Children as authors
- Stories in rhyme
- Tiwi Islands (N.T.)
- Tiwi people (N20) (NT SC52-16)
A hungry crocodile goes hunting and meets one animal after another in the water and on land. Using the refrain, ‘No way, Yirrikipayi!’, each animal gives a reason why the crocodile cannot eat them. Yirrikipayi finally thinks he’s caught his dinner – but the Taringa catches him instead!
The neat square format of the book is ideal for reading aloud, with text on the left and full colour illustration on the right of each double page spread. On each animal’s first appearance in the text, its name in Tiwi - with English translation - appears at the bottom of the page accompanied by a black-and-white child’s drawing of the animal. The colour illustration on the facing page features the animal, rendered in crayon and paint and against rich and vibrant colour collaged backgrounds.
Several renowned children’s authors and illustrators are Ambassadors for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation. They travel to communities to share their practice in Community Literacy Projects. Middle school children from Milikapiti School worked with former Australian Children’s Laureate Alison Lester to write and illustrate their own story over a one-day workshop. She returned to the school 10 months later to inspire ‘a group of budding artists from across the school’ to create the final illustrations. The illustrations are not evocative of traditional Tiwi art forms.
The text has been produced from student input, and the title as refrain is ideal for joyful participatory readings. The various animals argue for their freedom in rhyming couplets. No pronunciation guide is provided for the Tiwi words. The Indigenous Literacy Foundation has produced books under several publishers’ imprints and production values are always excellent.
The Literacy Production Unit at Murrupurtiyanuwu Catholic School is credited with the Tiwi translation.
- YouTube, Nina Black reads ‘No Way Yirrikipayi!’, 26 Nov 2018 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aol1JOa1rBo
- Alison Lester Reading ‘No Way Yirrikipayi!’, 27 Apr 2020 https://www.facebook.com/fishcreekgallery/videos/243087743440343
- NITV, International Literacy Day introduces budding Tiwi Island authors, by Andrea Booth, 2 Sept 2015 https://www.sbs.com.au/nitv/article/2015/09/02/indigenous-literacy-day-introduces-budding-tiwi-island-authors
- Tiwi Land Council, Tiwi Education Board https://www.tiwilandcouncil.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=page&p=198&l=2&id=69&smid=151
- Indigenous Literacy Foundation, Who We Are https://www.indigenousliteracyfoundation.org.au/who-we-are
- Alison Lester website https://alisonlester.com/
- National Museum of Australia ‘The Tiwi Islands – Bathurst and Melville Islands’ https://www.nma.gov.au/learn/encounters-education/community-stories/bathurst-melville