Aunty Fay Muir
Leanne Mulgo Watson
Magabala Books, 2021
3-4yrs, 5-8yrs, Lower Primary, Primary, Upper Primary
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- Daily life
- Social life and customs
- Stories and motifs
Some books are deceptively simple yet simultaneously complex. ‘Sharing’ is such a book. Here illustrations and text seamlessly reflect each other while offering a deep understanding of sharing. Here is an example: ‘When we share, there is plenty for all. Take, use what you need,’ and ‘Take only what you need, no more, no less.’ No didactic note here, just a sensible way for humans and their environment to interact.
Some texts cry out to be read aloud, not only to capture the rhythm and repetitive phrasing used here, but also to involve the senses. The text’s repetitive beat propels the reader forward using simple yet well-chosen words. The daily activities of cooking, making tools, gathering seeds and roots for eating and other daily life tasks feature, all in less than 100 words. The illustrator has used mixed media including acrylic paint, geli-prints, torn painted paper and digital collage. These are a visual treat with artwork filling each double page spread with intense colours set against patterned backgrounds.
Aunty Fay Muir comments that the series ‘Our Place’, of which this is the third title, represents the importance of sharing knowledge and building relationships to make Australia a united place where Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people ‘walk together’. Our language in ‘Sharing’ is very much the way First Nations People talk, only saying what they need to say and being straight to the point. The voice in ‘Sharing’ is an Elder sharing their knowledge with children about what mother earth provides for us and to only take what we need but leave some for next time.’ (‘Paperbark Words’ in Teaching Resources).
Leanne Mulgo Watson is a Darug woman from the Booroborongal people of the Dyirabun – Hawesbury region of New South Wales. Aunty Fay Muir is a Boonwurrung Elder who shares her First Nations culture and stories with children.
Series: Our Place no 3
- Reading Time review by Susanne Gervay of ‘Sharing’, 22 February 2022 https://readingtime.com.au/sharing/
- Paperbark Words, interview by Joy Lawn with Sue Lawson and Aunty Fay Muir, 25 Nov 2021 https://paperbarkwords.blog/2021/11/25/sharing-by-aunty-fay-muir-sue-lawson-illustrated-by-leanne-mulgo-watson%EF%BF%BC/
- GLAM Adelaide, review by Vanessa Elle of ‘Sharing’, 15 Nov 2021 https://glamadelaide.com.au/sharing-by-aunty-fay-muir-sue-lawson-illustrated-by-leanne-mulgo-watson/
- Sue Lawson’s website, ‘About author Sue Lawson’ https://www.suelawson.com.au/about