Opening a parcel from Magabala Books is always such a joy! I love seeing what our First Australian authors and illustrators have created and they enable me to share rich culture and boundless talent with my readers.
First up is the absolute little treasure of a book:
Girls Can Fly – Sally Morgan/Ambelin Kwaymullina
Talented mother and daughter Sally Morgan and Ambelin Kwaymullina have crafted a beautiful and inspirational book for tweens and teens drawing on their own life experiences. In a riot of colour and thoughtful and pithy texts for each thought, girls will find themselves dipping into this again and again. Young girls from the Kimberley and Pilbara Girls program were invited to offer feedback and their own thoughts on an early draft of the book and they are beautifully acknowledged at the back of book with photographs and information about the successful and transformational program
If you are looking for a special book for a young girl in your life, a worthy addition to your collection or perhaps a new ‘feature’ book for upcoming International Women’s Day this would be a superb choice. I think mine will go to my girl first of all and then will spread its ripples among some of my students in my new library.
Highly recommended for girls from around 10 upwards.
Bubbay’s desert adventure – Josie Wowolla Boyle. Illustrated by Fern Martins.
The Australian outback is a lonely place. For some it’s very isolation and empty spaces hold even more loneliness. For Bubbay, a little boy on his own with just his herd of goats and the stars for company, it is even more so. He does have one other person to occasionally visit. Mrs Timms lives down on the plains and sometimes Bubbay trades his goat milk for her eggs. He doesn’t know how fondly Mrs Timms regards him so when he wishes for a family of his own and Gubbarlee the grandmother appears to him with a quest he has no idea what joy lies ahead.
With the help of Gubbarlee as well as kangaroo, emu, bower bird and crow Bubbay fulfils his magical quest and gains the family love he so craves.
This is a simple and heart-warming story which underlines the need of all children to feel treasured and safe. The illustrations are perfect – with a dream-like mystical quality that enhances the text and allows the readers to explore their own imagination.
Highly recommended for young readers from around 5 years upwards.
Mum’s Elephant – Maureen Jipyiliya Nampijinpa O’Keefe and Christina Booth
No, you wouldn’t expect to find an elephant in the Australian outback especially in a very remote community but to a child what might be an ‘elephant’ can well be something just as special and significant. The author has taken an endearing memory of her childhood and woven it into a delightful and oft humorous story for little readers of her mother’s most prized possession.
Growing up in the Northern Territory remoteness near Tennant Creek O’Keefe recalls the importance of her mother’s ‘elephant’ and the role that it played in creating bonds and community sharing on their remote station homeland.
As to be expected Christina Booth’s illustrations are evocative of the harsh red outback and with skill keep the true identity of the elephant tantalisingly hidden until the final reveal.
This is just simply delightful and will, I have no doubt, resonate with young children who will want to nominate their own mothers’ special treasure as well as with adults who may well have their own fond memories of their mum’s ‘special elephant’.
Again, highly recommended for little readers and highly suitable for Prep onwards, particularly when integrated with exploration of family and community.
All three are available for pre-order now so don’t miss out on adding these to your shelves!