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Bronwyn Bancroft, W is for Wombat, My First Australian Word Book, 2008

This books is 26 bright pictures of individual Australian animals. It’s really for babies, rather than kids and my children ho-hummed it.
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Sally Morgan, Bronwyn Bancroft, The Amazing A to Z Thing, 2014

This picture book is illustrated with Bronwyn Bancroft’s trademark bright colours and contemporary Aboriginal art. The kids liked it a lot more than the muddy art in the previous picture book I mentioned (Annaliese Porter's The Outback),

It is basically an ABC as anteater tries to find another Australian animal to be interested in her surprise. None of them will look at it. My children guessed that it might be a game but it was really a book.

They liked the final page, where all the animals admire the book. My three year old also liked the ‘H’ page where the Huntsman spider was counting its legs. She had a go as well, and got to six.
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3.04 Annaliese Porter, The Outback, 2005, illustrated by Bronwyn Bancroft

This book was written by an eleven year old girl from the Gamilaraay group, which is really neat. I praise her for her accomplishment. I expect she is the youngest published author in Australia.

However, I must say that I could not get my kids to read this book. The prose was too complicated for them and the illustrations were rejected as ‘yucky’ and ‘brown’. It’s rare for them to totally refuse a book but this one I could not read to my target audience (aged five and three).
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Pearl, now five, is besotted with this book, the story of a little girl participating in her aunt's wedding She likes that they go to the hairdresser and get their hair curled. She likes that they have pretty dresses to wear. Even Ruby, aged two and a half, likes the drama of the flower girl dress at first not fitting! Oh no! But the dress maker fixes it!

The author has also written *The Glory Garage: Growing Up Lebanese Muslim in Australia* which I now want to read. Her biographical note says she has a passion for promoting understanding between Anglo-Australian culture and Islamic culture in Australia and that she has three little girls who like playing dress ups and getting married.
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I chose this picture book randomly from the shelf because I was looking for a book to encourage eating vegetables. And then, bonus!, it is eligible for this challenge.

It does all the things a book for a picky preschool eater is meant to. It has colourful foods and counting and games and at the end there is a recipe. Pearl looked at the recipe and said NO SOUP! so she is perhaps pickier than the intended reader.
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Kim Scott, Iris Woods and the Wirlomin Noongar Language and Stories Project, Mamang (2011)

This is a University of Western Australia Press picture book. It represents a story originally told by Freddie Winmer to a linguist in the 1930s, found, workshopped with his Noongar descendants and presented as a picture book.

I edited the story as it involved a man taking a ride inside a whale. In my version he made it go faster by shouting GO! GO! rather than by poking it with a spear.

Also, it was a nice change of pace as so many collections are of stories from the centre and the north west. As colonisation started in the south east, it's nice to have some stories from the bottom part of the continent where colonisation was experienced earlier and differently.
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[identity profile] sumofparts.livejournal.com
Haven't posted in a while. Here's a series of mini-reviews with some spoilers. Also, some of the books contain potentially triggering content.

6. Un-Nappily in Love by Trisha R. Thomas
7. Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat
8. Tracks by Louise Erdrich
9. The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid
10. Umbrella by Taro Yashima
11. Little Joy by Ruowen Wang
12. Why War is Never a Good Idea by Alice Walker
13. Erika-san by Allen Say
14. Dahanu Road by Anosh Irani
15. What the Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell
16. The Automatic Detective by A. Lee Martinez
17. In the Company of Ogres by A. Lee Martinez
18. Gil's All Fright Diner by A. Lee Martinez
19. Divine Misfortune by A. Lee Martinez
20. Monster by A. Lee  Martinez
21. Certainty by Madeleine Thien
22. So Long Been Dreaming edited by Nalo Hopkinson and Uppinder Mehan
23. A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers by Xiaolu Guo
24. Too Many Curses by A. Lee Martinez
25. A Nameless Witch by A. Lee Martinez
26. A Person of Interest by Susan Choi
27. Apex Hides the Hurt by Colson Whitehead

Mention (not counted)
Josias, Hold the Book by Jennifer Riesmeyer Elvgren (white); illustrated by Nicole Tadgell (person of colour)

Read more... )
[identity profile] emma-in-oz.livejournal.com
2.40 Agnes Lippo, The Kangaroo and the Porpoise, compiled by Pamela Lofts (1987)

This is one of the early generations of Aboriginal children's stories. Unlike later, more sophisticated picture books of Aboriginal stories, it does not provide detailed information on where the story came from or who illustrated it or the extent to which the compiler may have altered it.

The pictures are also fairly rough - like *Dunbi the Owl* it was illustrated by primary school children.

My daughter says it was a 'silly' story, because it is a story in which a kangaroo mother abandons the joey.
[identity profile] emma-in-oz.livejournal.com
2.39 Sally Morgan, Dan's Grandpa, illustrated by Bronwyn Bancroft (1996)

This is a classic issues picture book, aimed at bringing the child to terms with the death of a loved one. It is the first I've seen with Indigenous characters.

Sally Morgan must be one of the best known Indigenous authors in Australia, and Bronwyn Bancroft is likewise one of the best known illustrators, so this is a kind of a dream team for an Aboriginal picture book.
[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.
[identity profile] emma-in-oz.livejournal.com
2.37 Bronwyn Bancroft, Possum and Wattle: My Big Book of Australian Words (2008)

This book is similar to Bronwyn Bancroft's *An Australian ABC of Animals* (2005) which I've already reviewed here. In fact, I think I recognise some of the illustrations which may have been recycled.

It is another picture book showing pictures to make an ABC. It was a notable book in the Children's Book Council of Australia awards... which actually is a surprise to me.

Some of the illustrations seem kind of random. V is for vegetable, vine and valley which don't seem quintessentially Australian in the way D for dragonfly, dideridoo, dingo, duck and dragon lizard is.
[identity profile] emma-in-oz.livejournal.com
2.35 Glee J Sellin and Mary A Tolputt, Gundanoo's Christmas (2009)

The authors are sisters from a large Bidgera family in inland central Queensland. The book was published by Black Ink Press and is, obviously, an Australian Christmas story.

I must say, though, that it didn’t keep my daughter’s attention. She’s three and a third now, but she literally went off and got a book of nursery rhymes for me to read instead.

2.36 Gavin Delacour, Cranky the Crocodile (2009)

The author is descended from the Waanyi people in Queensland, and has made up a story about animals of northern Australia.

It’s a version of *Are You My Mother?*, with Cranky the crocodile wandering around trying to find his mother. His mother is not a turtle, not a brolga, and not a kangaroo. She is a crocodile!

This kept my daughter’s attention. I must say, too, that she failed to guess the ending.

Me: Do you think he will ever find his Mum?
Her: Nope.


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