Yakanarra Song Book : About Our Place in Walmajarri and English
Jessie Wamarla Moora
Mary Purnjurr Vanbee, Children of Yakanarra Community School , Chris Aitken, Alison Lester, Yakanarra Community School
Children of Yakanarra Community School with Alison Lester
Indigenous Literacy Foundation, 2016
3-4yrs, 5-8yrs, Lower Primary, Primary
AC Links/EYLFEYLF1, EYLF2, EYLF3, EYLF4, EYLF5, ACELA1426, ACELA1428, ACELT1575, ACELT1783, ACELT1580, ACELT1831
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English, Walmajarri / Walmatjarri language (A66) (WA SE51-16)
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- Bilingual books
- Bush tucker
- Children as artists
- Walmajarri / Walmatjarri people (A66) (WA SE51-16)
- Yakanarra Community (WA Fitzroy River, West Kimberley SE51-12)
These 14 songs, including 10 in Walmajarri language and four in English, are illustrated with great zest by the children in the Yakanarra Community School. The songs, sung to well-known tunes such as ‘Old McDonald Had a Farm’, ‘She’ll Be Coming Round the Mountain’ and ‘Wheels on the Bus’, have been written to help the children at Yakanarra speak Walmajarri. This book has a wider appeal through daily life activities which everyone will enjoy.
Walmajarri teachers and older people from Yakanarra, Kulkarriya and Wulungarra Community Schools wrote some of the songs. Later, Chris Aitkin with Mary Purnjurr Vanbee and the Yakanarra children wrote the four songs in English about Yakanarra.
Alison Lester, well known children’s book writer and illustrator, worked with the children to create the images for all the songs. Animals and landscapes fill the pages with bold watercolours that splash and blend together. These capture life experiences on Country, such as gathering and cooking bush honey and bush onions, hunting goanna, echidnas and turtles, along with adult warnings about walking too close and possibly falling into the river.
Ms Vanbee, Ms Moora and the children from Yakanarra School performed songs from the book on stage at the Sydney Opera House in 2017. Chris Aitken is a singer songwriter who, over many years, has gathered some 800 songs written and sung by Australian school children. Many of these are from remote Indigenous communities around Australia.
- ABC News, Yakanarra Song Book offers a glimpse into life of remote Indigenous community, Penny Timms and Laura Brierley Newton, 6 September 2017 https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-06/yakanarra-song-book-gives-glimpse-into-indigenous-community/8876726
- Indigenous students launch Yakanarra Song Book at National Library in Canberra’ by Han Nguyen, 8 September 2017 https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6028462/indigenous-students-launch-yakanarra-song-book-at-national-library-in-canberra/
- Yakanarra Book Launch at the National Library of Australia, 16 September 2013 http://www.kids-bookreview.com/search?q=Yakanarra+Song+Book
- Yakanarra Community School, history and the community https://www.yakanarraschool.wa.edu.au/about/our-history
- Yakanarra Country http://www.sweethomeyakanarra.com/