As you know any books from Magabala make my heart sing because a) they are always so beautiful b) they enable me to promote the First Australian culture which is so important to my family. Here are three of the newest titles:
Brother Moon – Maree McCarthy Yoelu & Samantha Fry
This is a beautiful and powerful story that has been inspired by the author’s great-grandfather sharing it with her in her childhood.
Beneath a dark night sky in the Northern Territory, beautifully captured in the atmospheric illustrations, a great-grandfather shares with his great-grandson his deep connection with his brother the moon which guides him his connection to country. He details how the phases of the moon let him know the proper time for hunting and fishing providing sustenance and underlines the importance of our relationship with the natural world.
Great-grandpa Liman is a masterful storyteller and as an elder has the privilege of teaching his young descendant about this important aspect of culture and living in harmony with country.
This provides not only a significant topic for use with Indigenous children but is a valuable resource for cross-cultural studies in the classroom when investigating the moon and night sky topic. [ACARA: researching knowledges held by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples regarding the phases of the moon and the connection between the lunar cycle and ocean tides (OI.3, OI.5)]
Liman (Harry Morgan), the author’s grandfather, was a respected Wadjigany man — a leader amongst his people and the community. Liman was born at Manjimamany in the Northern Territory in 1916. He was a canoe maker, hunter, community mediator, and a family man who lived off the land and travelled the seas. Liman spoke Batjamalh, his first language, and other languages from the Daly River area.
Find teaching notes here
Mum’s Elephant – Maureen Jipiyiliya Nampijinpa O’Keefe/Christina Booth
This was a joy to read and has already been shared to great success. O’Keefe has created a very special narrative from a childhood memory of her mother’s prized ‘elephant’. Growing up in a remote community the family did not have many possessions but the ‘elephant’ was a particular focus in the sense of community and connection. Her mother would lovingly tend to the ‘elephant’ and often slept with it beside her bed.
Throughout Booth’s illustrations carefully deepen the wondering about the ‘elephant’ and how it could possibly be so important – or indeed even exist. Readers will love to conjecture as to it’s true purpose as gradually more clues indicate it’s actual identity.
The ultimate revelation will lead to some wonderful discussions on similarly important items in children’s own homes and the significance of special objects in creating strong bonds in our personal circles.
Respect – Aunty Fay Muir, Sue Lawson. Illustrated by Lisa Kennedy
This the first in a new four-part series which will be of primary importance in any teaching program or for sharing with young readers. This creative team, who need no introduction, have once again produced a book which will become a staple in any cross-cultural discussions or units of work.
Through lyrical text and absolutely stunning illustrations readers are shown the importance of family, particularly with regard to the need to listen, learn and share. While this is of paramount regard within First Australian culture, there can be no argument that it is also a vital lesson for any of our young people.
This gentle literary walk through a way of life and society that is the oldest in existence in the world, the significance of country and nature and the sharing of stories will delight and engage any young readers whilst also informing adults.
Find teaching notes here.
As always my highest recommendations go with these fabulous new titles from our leading Indigenous publishing company.
My copies are already in use in my daughter’s classroom as she guides the Indigenous children at her school in their culture and have been very well-received.