Tuesday, August 9, 2022
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Children’s books to light up Christmas

These beautiful picture books from Magabala Books will make great gifts for the children in your life.

Rainbow fire
Cunning Crow tells a story of a wily crow named Wan, who finds himself overcome with jealousy about other birds’ colours. He refuses to embrace his own beautiful red and orange feathers and hatches a shrewd plan to change his appearance. Gregg Dreise aims to bring back endangered dreamtime stories of Australia through his gorgeous colourful pages and important themes. He teaches children to celebrate diversity, accept differences, and to be proud of their own “beautiful feathers”. No matter the colour of your skin, true beauty comes from within.

This is Baby Business!
Jasmine Seymour, a Darug writer and artist, tells a story of the baby smoking ceremony. This Indigenous Australian ritual connects and welcomes babies to country, blessing and protecting them. From smoke on the feet in order to form a connection to country, to smoke on the mouth to keep the language alive, Seymour speaks of belonging and love of each other and of one’s home. Baby Business has gentle illustrations young children will easily relate to and enjoy. There’s also a helpful glossary of Darug language words, which are interwoven with the story.

Walk with us
“Hello friend, we welcome you to Darug Country.” Jasmine Seymour (author) and Leanne Mulgo Watson, (artist-educator), invite you on an educational walk with them through the seasons, teaching readers about the land, the creatures which inhabit it, and about the Darug language. Cooee Mittigar, which means “come here friend”, is a valuable learning tool, introducing children to the Aboriginal people’s connection with their land and country. It teaches the names of animals such as the wirriga, (goanna), family member names such as wiyanga (mother), and other valuable words and phrases.

An invasive predator
Lucky and Spike is a tale of two spinifex hopping mice adventuring out into the night and the dangers faced. This exciting tale features a dramatic chase and educates young readers about invasive species predators, such as cats, which hunt native animals, in many cases to extinction. Norma MacDonald’s use of soft, beautiful colours and brushstrokes brings attention to detail, drawing the viewer in. MacDonald is an amazing Australian artist, with work held in national collections, including the Art Gallery of WA and the National Gallery of Australia.

Bush brush up
Sally Morgan, an award-winning writer, artist and playwright and Ambelin Kwaymullina, an academic illustrator, writer and playwright, tell a story of Benny Bungarra’s adventures through the bush to save his friends from danger. Benny Bungarra’s Big Bush Clean-Up, an early childhood book, discusses important environmental issues and uses eye-catching colours to encourage young children to look after the planet in order to save the animals. Benny and his friends teach children that, if we work together, we can make the world a better place and clean up the mess we’ve made.



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