It’s been a long time since I’ve written a blog post, so I didn’t want to miss this opportunity!
In Australia, we celebrate National Reconciliation Week. Every year, on this week, we acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples culture and history.
This is why, I wanted to share with you a few books written and illustrated by Australian Indigenous authors. I think books are a great way to get us closer to different cultures and views of the world and are a great tool to spark interesting conversations with our children.
So here they are the books I will share today.
Welcome to country, Aunty Joy Murphy and Lisa Kennedy
In Australia, or at least in Victoria, we have a welcome or an acknowledgment to country on many events. This means that everyone there, recognises the fact that we are standing on Aboriginal land and pay our respects to Aboriginal peoples. A long time ago, visitors from different Aboriginal communities needed to ask permission to enter their land. It’s like going to someone’s house and asking for permission to come in. If people were allowed in, they would be welcomed to the country by an Elder of that particular Nation. In Melbourne, we are the home of the Wurundjeri people and there are over 200 Aboriginal nations in all of Australia! I like this book because it puts a Welcome to Country in the form of a picture book. The illustrations are exquisite and have lots of texture. What I loved about this book is that it recognises ancestors, the richness of the land and the importance of looking after it. This book can lead to conversations about your family ancestors, about the land you live in and about caring for the environment. Ideal for kids from 5-10 years old.
Shapes of Australia, Bronwyn Bancroft
This book is all about the amazing illustrations and the shapes we can find in nature. Each page spread has a bright, bold and colourful image in Aboriginal style with a sentence to describe it. However, I think the book can have your little ones raising their hand to tell you what they can see. This was one of my kid’s favourites because they each came up with different ideas on what the illustrations were. We also talked about the different colours and shapes. I love books that makes your kids learn without even knowing! Ideal for kids 2-8 years old.
Colours of Australia, Bronwyn Bancroft
Similar to the previous book, Colours of Australia shows an amazing Aboriginal illustration on each page spread. Each illustration is inspired by a different colour. Kids will be amazed wondering if they are the colours of the rainbow or just the colours of nature. The artwork for this book is bold and bright and will have kids telling you their own story in each page. Great book to discuss colour and Aboriginal art. Ideal for kids 2-8 years old.
The Emu Who Ran Through the Sky, Helen Milroy
This is a story about Emu, who really wants to win the Emu race. Except, he is not as fast as all the other emus and that makes him really sad. Emu finds new friends who help him on his journey to be the best at the race, and who knows? They might find creative ways to help him win!
Little Bird’s Day, Sally Morgan and Johny Warrkatja Malibirr
This is a whimsical story following a little bird’s day from morning to night. The illustrations of this book have the traditional Aboriginal style and colour palettes. This is a great resource to talk about the things we do during the morning or at night. It’s told in first person, so I think a good think to ask kids would be, what would your day look like if you were a bird? I think kids would come up with the craziest answers!
So there you have it, five books that will show kids about Aboriginal Australia.