Back in 2013 Norma MacDonald introduced us to the sprightly joy of a little Spinifex mouse, elusive tiny creature of the Pilbara region in Western Australia– a creature many of us will never otherwise know or see.
Now Norma turns our attention full square onto the dangerous plight that faces not only these adorable little animals but so many others of our natural fauna – feral cats.
I admit it. I’m a cat person. I love our two cats and have owned many before them but I’m also equally passionate about protecting our native animals from them. The prevalence of feral cats, irresponsibly caused by white Australians, has wreaked havoc and continues to do so in our wildlife populations.
Lucky and Spike are out on their nocturnal adventure in search of food and are pursued by one such feral cat as well as a hunting owl. Thankfully in their terror they are able to hide close to the people who are around their campfire. The camp dog takes care of the cat but they still have to evade the owl. It’s a close escape for the intrepid pair – predators abound for such tiny residents of the Pilbara.
This is a great insight into desert natural life and an excellent starting point for simple discussions about protecting our precious species.
Highly recommended for children from about five years upwards.
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.