Our Place: Respect & Family

Picture Books from Magabala Books

The ‘Our Place’ picture book series is a set of beautifully written and illustrated books that share and explain Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture to young children. Two of the four books have now been published.

Respect by Aunty Fay Muir & Sue Lawson, illustrated by Lisa Kennedy

“Our way is old, older than red earth, older than flickering stars. Our way is respect. Respect for stories that shimmer through tall grass, for songs that soar over mountain tops.”

Respect is given to Elders and Ancestors, Country, the preening sea eagle, tumbling redgum leaves and family who show the way.

The poetic words and glowing colours create an immersive understanding of people and Country. The enduring culture of respect and its continued importance is intrinsic to this striking work.

Respect was written on Wadawurrung and illustrated on Boonwurrung people’s land.

Fay Stewart-Muir is a Boonwurrung Elder. She has collaborated with prolific and respected author, Sue Lawson.

Lisa Kennedy is a descendant of the coastal Trawlwoolway people in Tasmania. She won the IBBY (Australia) award for illustration with her picture book Wilam: A Birrarung Story (written by Aunty Joy Murphy & Andrew Kelly).

Family by Aunty Fay Muir & Sue Lawson, illustrated by Jasmine Seymour

Family is another vibrantly illustrated, poetically written picture book that welcomes the reader as family, whilst showing the deep relationships of First Nations’ families.

“Sharing how to care for mob and Country. Listening to Aunties, Uncles, Elders and Ancestors. Learning how to be – to each other, to Country.”

The family in this story is a guide to the power of love for each other and of living creatures, the natural world and place. This love and care can be emulated by others.

Jasmine Seymour’s illustrations are distinctive and allusive: merging history with the present, and connecting the reader with the richness of an enduring past.

Family was written on Wadawurrung and illustrated on Darug people’s land.

(My review of Baby Business by Jasmine Seymour at the NCACL database https://www.ncacl.org.au/atsi_resource/baby-business/ My review of Cooee Mittigar  by Jasmine Seymour and Leanne Mulgo Watson at the NCACL https://www.ncacl.org.au/atsi_resource/cooee-mittigar-a-story-on-darug-songlines/ Cooee Mittigar won the children’s book category of the 2020 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards.)

Thanks to Magabala Books for these review copies. Magabala continues to nurture and promote wonderful books from Indigenous authors and illustrators.

Respect at Magabala Books

Family at Magabala Books

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