This is the first title in Magabala Book’s ‘Our Place’ series consisting of four children’s picture books. These are designed to introduce important elements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture. Here children will learn about the importance of family and how we need to listen, learn and share with each other. The book also features the deeper concept of respect for culture, stories, song, elders and Country.
The spare but rich language of this title includes such words as ‘shimmer’, tumbling’ and ‘preening’, each of which conjures up images in the imagination. The text begins, ‘Our way is old, older than red earth, older than flickering stars’. It is easy to be mesmerised by this simple, rhythmic text, which invites readers to wonder. It is not a story per se, but rather an appreciation of family, respect for elders, living creatures, ancestors and Country.
‘Respect’ is ideally shared alongside the book, ‘Welcome to Country’, by the same author and illustrator team. Both convey the beauty of the Australian land, the creatures and the humans living there and the respect that binds these together. They are ideal for discussion.
Lisa Kennedy’s artwork featuring intense colours, acrylic paint and cut paper collage invites scrutiny and discussion. Lisa Kennedy is a descendant of coastal Trawlwoolway people of northeast Tasmania. Aunty Fay Muir is a Senior Boon Wurrung and Wamba Wamba Elder. Sue Lawson writes young adult and children’s books recognised for their sensitive exploration of growing up. Her first book with Aunty Fay is 'Nganga: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Words and Phrases.'
Series: Our Place no 1