It is NAIDOC Week next week, so I thought I would share with you some of my favourite books. These books include titles written and illustrated by Aboriginal authors and illustrators, include Aboriginal characters or stories. The inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures is one of the cross-curriculum priorities of the Australian Curriculum, so these books are good to add to your library for all year around.
My all time favourites from this list are;
The Old Frangipani Tree at Flying Fish Point by Trina Saffioti and Illustrated by Maggie Prewett
This story is told from the point of view of the daughter of the main character and tells a family story from when mum, Faithy-girl, was a girl. It tells about “an enormous frangipani that grew in the town of Flying Fish Point. It had been growing in my Mum’s backyard for as long as anyone could remember.” When the annual fancy dress carnival is held at school the family decide to help Faithy-girl dress up as an island princess, with a lei made from frangipani flowers. This book tells a lovely story accompanied by rich and expressive pictures. The book is good for initiating conversations about family stories and how these are retold over again.
Fair Skin Black Fella by Renee Fogorty
A book about the bullying behaviour of others and what is means to be Aboriginal. Mary has a white father and a black mother, so is light skinned with straight, fair hair. Some other girls tease Mary and don’t want to play with her, until Old Ned tells the girls “it doesn’t matter if you’re black fella or white fella. It is how you feel in your heart that is important.” This book has a simple message and is effective at highlighting that discrimination causes hurt to individuals and communities.
You and Me Murrawee by Kerri Hashmi and Felicity Marshall
This one is an old favourite, but I keep using it with various age groups. On each page of You and Me Murrawee a picture and some text contrasts the activities of two girls in a bush setting. We come to realise the two girls are separated by 200 years of history, and the book aims to show the similarities and differences between the lives of the girls. The illustrations are beautiful and the story has a read-aloud rhythm. This book is useful for discussing the passage of time and provides some insight into the traditional daily lives of aboriginal people prior to European contact.
All of the books I have listed on the graphic are wonderful and worth checking out. If you have a great book that you have used to for NAIDOC Week or to highlight Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures I would love to hear about it in the comment below.