Feb. 25th, 2011

[identity profile] emma-in-oz.livejournal.com
2.11 Pat Lowe and Jimmy Pike, Yinti, Desert Child (1992)

2.12 Pat Lowe and Jimmy Pike, Desert Dog (1997)

2.13 Pat Lowe and Jimmy Pike, Desert Cowboy (2000)

These children's books are told by Pat Lowe and based on the experiences of Jimmy Pike in his childhood as a hunter gatherer in the central desert. He came in from the desert to a station in the 1950s, one of the last groups to do so.

*Yinti, Desert Child* describes his childhood and his first trip in to see relatives on a station in his adolescence. *Desert Dog* is a story about his mother's wonderful hunting dingo, Spinifex, who comes in with him to the station and then runs away back to his mother in the desert. *Desert Cowboy* is is the third part of the biography. It charts Jimmy’s permanent move in to working on stations in the Kimberley. I was particularly interested in how he adjusted from a hunter gatherer life to the whitefeller idea of ‘work’ and ‘pay’ in order to stay on the country.

The books are written by Pat Lowe, who is white, but I have included them here as the illustrations are so integral to the stories. Pat Lowe's introduction says she has sometimes altered Jimmy Pike's stories for ease of understanding. This is always the tricky part of having someone else write for you - but perhaps in this case it was a particularly tight collaboration as they are a married couple.

My two and three quarter year old daughter really liked Jimmy Pike’s illustrations. The bright colours (I think textas?) and straightforward pictures of horses and men and cattle are just right for her. The stories are, of course, far beyond her, being aimed at perhaps seven to ten year olds.
[identity profile] emma-in-oz.livejournal.com
2.14 Yih-Fen Chou, Mimi Says No, illustrations by Chih-Yuan Chen (2010)

My two and three quarter year old daughter adored this book. She has requested it again and again.

Of course, the subject matter is just right for her. It is about a toddler doggy who wants to do everything by herself while her long-suffering mummy doggy cleans up behind her.

The illustrations are cute and she has been able to describe what is happening (with prompting). It is definitely aimed at the do-it-myself toddler set.
[identity profile] emma-in-oz.livejournal.com
This book reminds me of Joanna Russ’ dictum that the literature of oppressed people can read like propaganda. People are not interested in allusion, indirection or obscurity when what they have to say is burning.

Unfortunately, the propaganda can be quite dated. Or at least of its time. This play is very definitely reminiscent of the late 1980s - the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, the burgeoning land rights movement, and the upsurge in the Aboriginal rights movement in light of the bicentennial celebrations.

It was not a surprise to me to see *Murras* was first performed in 1988 and workshopped in 1987 at the National Black Playwrights Conference. It serves, for me, more as a snapshot of a particular time than as a lasting work of art.


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