Return of the Dinosaurs _- Bronwyn Houston
Over the years as a teacher-librarian I’ve probably lost count of the number of dinosaur books, both factual and fictional, I’ve seen or read or bought or circulated. This is the first one I have ever seen which incorporates an awareness of First Australian culture as Bronwyn Houston imagines what might happen if the dinosaurs returned to Broome.
The vibrant illustrations and simple but amusing text will appeal to young children, both boys and girls, and would lead to many discussions around country and time for all.
Regular readers of this blog will know that I’m a huge supporter of Magabala Books and that the importance of teaching the children in our classrooms or libraries the respect and reverence for the history of our First People is dear to my heart.
Explore the Kimberley vicariously with your readers in the new year and make sure you put this book on your ‘to buy’ list. You will not be disappointed I know.
Published: Jan 2011
Size: 245 x 205
Ages: Lower primary
Although this is an older picture book from Magabala’s catalogue, the fact that it has now had two reprints testifies to its value in any library collection or indeed home bookshelf.
A fictionalised telling of one girl’s experience as part of the Stolen Generation, it is based on what might have happened to the author’s own grandmother who was stolen away from her family. The illustrator’s grandmother was also a stolen child so both Trina and Norma are able to bring personal family stories and emotions to this work.
The story begins in a children’s home and the reader finds out how the girl arrived there through her recollections of her life before being taken. The reader is taken into the home with its harshness and lack of compassion but rather than dwell on the grimness of the situation, we become part of the girl’s dreaming hopes and her determination to return home.
In the spirit of Follow the Rabbit Proof Fence this little girl plans her route and at the right moment makes her escape homeward. As she sets off our hearts go with her, willing her safety and success in her journey.
A beautiful book which tells an important story, beautifully illustrated by highly successful Indigenous artist Norma MacDonald.
Find teaching notes for this book here.
- Author:Bronwyn Houston
- Illustrator:Bronwyn Houston
- Published:Oct 2014
- Size:205×245 (portrait)
I have been waiting till Picture Book month to post the review for this wonderful new counting book. It has already established itself as a favourite on our shelves for bedtime. Explore a lush tropical setting filled with vivid colours and familiar Australian birds and animals, while practising simple counting. From the gorgeous endpapers to the simple text, from the stunning artwork to the classy design, this is a real treasure.
Bronwyn Houston lives in Broome and is descended from the Nyiyaparil and Yindijibarndi people of the Pilbara region. She has previously collaborated on three other books but this is her first entirely solo effort – and one would truly hope not the last! Bronwyn draws on her environment for inspiration and that has truly transferred into this ‘richly textured’ new book.
From toddlers and up this is not ‘just another counting book’ but a feast for the eyes of little animal lovers everywhere.
Small has chosen her favourite page to share with you.
Comprehensive teaching notes and links to the AC can be found here.
Located in beautiful Broome Magabala Books is Australia’s leading independent Indigenous publishing house. Click on their logo above to go to their home page. Since 1990 Magabala has been working to preserve and promote Indigenous culture, knowledge and people. A not-for-profit Aboriginal-owned and run organisation, Magabala has now published more than 150 books across a range of genres and their logo of the bush banana, from which they take their name, has become synonymous with quality Indigenous literature. They are proud to support emerging Indigenous writers and artists with their Australian Indigenous Creators’ Scholarships.
A significant number of their published titles have been awarded prizes including the the Prime Minister’s Award, WA Premier’s Award, Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year and Deadly Award Outstanding Achievement in Literature.
It has been my great pleasure to be able to review the fantastic titles I’ve received from Magabala and this week Just So Stories is proudly celebrating Picture Book Month with some deadly titles from this great publishing house.
Find them on Facebook. Click on their logo above for more information.