Annaliese Porter wrote the poem which is the text of this book when she was only eight-years-of-age. She 'has been writing ever since she can remember and has received numerous awards for academic excellence and creative writing in her home state of New South Wales.' Annaliese is a descendant of the Gamilaraay people and at the time of publication of this book was working on her first novel…'a very different kind of fairy story.'
The poem is a child's authentic view of her world, accompanied by the multi-award-winning Bundjalung artist Bronwyn Bancroft's paintings. The term 'outback' is sometimes used as a catchall by the 89 per cent of Australians who live in cities. Bancroft’s illustrations begin as a flat horizon and little of the treasures within the earth; gradually they reveal, as the text does, the richness of the colours and the un-emptiness of the outback, finally curving into the earth that sustains us all. Her characteristic black lines and extraordinary colours are the perfect complement to the young poet's words.
The end of the poem is particularly affecting:
For thousands of years Aboriginal people
Have trodden on this dusty sand –
Caring for mother nature
And their scared land
They have felt the softness of country
And seen the crystal sky –
They have tasted the searing desert wind
And heard the eagle’s cry.