Allen & Unwin
Publisher/Imprint: A&U Children’s
I’ve been saving this one up for a while but I’ve already used it with several classes and, let me tell you, the kids have just loved it so much – both for the fun in the story and the fascination with the woven sculptures as well as the Pitjantjatjara language. Dual language books are always intriguing for kiddos but the opportunity to learn some First Nations words is especially interesting for them, and they really enjoy trying to get their voices wrapped around them.
While the story of how the donkeys came to be friends and helpers for the Aṉangu people is, in itself, of great interest, it is definitely the sculptures that completely steal the limelight in this book. After sharing it with the children, I was absolutely itching for an opportunity for a Make&Take session – I know the kids would absolutely love to try to make their own woven sculptures. (Hmmm, maybe I will still have the opportunity if I find myself a new library job!).
Although the book shares information (and portraits) of the Tjanpi weavers, you might also like to investigate further via their website – there’s even a weaving tutorial to attempt your own creation!
Highly recommended for your readers from around Prep upwards (with ensuing follow-up fun activities!)