Book reviews by Rebecca, Indigenous Literacy Day

Good books: Barlay! by Cheryl Kickett-Tucker

This is a new title in the Waarda series (Waarda is Noongar for talking and sharing stories and information).

"Barlay! by Cheryl Kickett-Tucker"Barlay! is an early chapter book (it’s only 45 pages, you’ll finish it in no time!). It starts with Nan telling Sarah, Jay and Rene a story about the woordatj.

‘One of his jobs is to make sure children behave themselves and listen to the wise things their Elders tell them. If you don’t … ’

Jay and Rene think it’s just a fairy tale. But when they go on a family outing to Rocky Pool, they’re suddenly not so sure. Could Nan’s story about the woordatj be true?

Barlay! has short chapters and the story zips along. There are black and white illustrations by Tracey Gibbs scattered through the book and it’s fun to learn some Indigenous words like koolbardi (magpie) and “Barlay!” (“Look out!”). At the back of the book, there’s some information about the author and a map showing you where Noongar country is.

This is the sixth book in the Waarda series, so if you like this one, you’ll want to read the other five, too!

(See a photo of the author, Cheryl Kickett-Tucker, reading a chapter of Barlay! to students on Indigenous Literacy Day when her book was launched)

~ Rebecca Newman, Editor, Alphabet Soup