Oct. 19th, 2011

[identity profile] emma-in-oz.livejournal.com
2.38 Cathy Goonack, Scaly-Tailed Possum and Echidna (2010)

This is another lovely children's books from Magabala Books. This one has particularly beautiful illustrations. There's an explanation at the beginning that the illustrations are done with silk dyes.

I also like that the story is given a specific providence. Cathy Goonack inherited it from her grandfather, and there is a picture of him cooking some crocodile.

My daughter (now three and a half) was most interested in this photo. I wasn't sure why until she said that she didn't want to eat crocodile. Then she made her first direct observation about race: 'People with light skin don't eat crocodile'.

She is very into categorising things as the same or different at the moment, and I should have seen this coming and seized the teachable moment. But instead I went off on a tangent about having eaten crocodile myself but not liking it (IMHO, carnivores are way too gamey to eat). So, next time I might manage to actually talk about race.

While I flubbed this opportunity, it does underscore the value of reading these books to the kids, because otherwise the chance to talk about how 'people with light skin' aren't the default doesn't really come up.


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