authors, illustrator, Indigenous Literacy Day, teachers' resources

Indigenous Literacy Day 2010 (Perth City)

Today I went into the city to eavesdrop on Indigenous Literacy Day events. At the State Library I arrived in time for a Meet The Author presentation by Gladys Milroy and Sharyn Egan, who were answering  questions from an enthusiastic school group. Gladys Milroy has written a title in the Waarda series, The Great Cold and Sharyn Egan was talking about illustrating Dead Man’s Gold (written by Michael Torres).

"The Great Cold, by Gladys Milroy""Dead Man's Gold, illustrated by Sharyn Egan"

"Gladys Milroy and Sharyn Egan at The Place, Perth, WA"
Gladys Milroy and Sharyn Egan talking about their books. (ILD 2010)

Off in another room, Cheryl Kickett-Tucker was talking to two more school groups (and her gorgeous baby was with her too!). She talked about how there were different ways you could tell a story—not just writing a book, but also perhaps plays, movies, music with or without lyrics, collage, news stories and even more. She talked about how she loved writing in a diary when she was growing up. (Even if her brother did show it around to everyone and embarrass her!)  She also read two chapters from her new book, Barlay!, and showed some photos of the scenery around Rocky Pool, where the book is set.

"Cheryl Kickett-Tucker, reading a chapter from 'Barlay!"
Cheryl Kickett-Tucker, reading a chapter from her new book. (IDL 2010)

While the authors and illustrators were off having lunch and resting their voices, school groups were taking part in The Great Book Swap—looking through piles of books on trestle tables at the State Library. So many books!

"Gladys Milroy and Sally Morgan waiting for their session to begin."
Gladys Milroy and Sally Morgan waiting for their session to begin in the Art Gallery. (ILD 2010)

Next I stopped by the art gallery where two groups of children were busy experimenting with story and art, guided by Sharyn Egan, Gladys Milroy and Sally Morgan. Sharyn Egan talked about how sometimes you need to make lots of little sketches and play around a little to find what it is that you want to draw. And she pointed out there are different ways of looking at things (like an aerial view, rather than looking straight on)—which echoed what Cheryl Kickett-Tucker had said about storytelling earlier.

I thoroughly enjoyed meeting some more WA writers and illustrators, and hearing about where they find their inspiration!

Indigenous Literacy Day aims to raise funds for the Indigenous Literacy Project. You can read about the project on the ILP website, and donate while you’re over there. There are also a number of bookshops participating in Indigenous Literacy Day by donating a percentage of their sales on 1 September 2010 to the Indigenous Literacy Project.

Alphabet Soup magazine is donating 10% of all orders today to the ILP (and until 5 September, if you add a note ‘ILD order,’ we’ll count it with today’s orders!). Subscribe via our website! (It’s only $29.80 for a 1-year subscription!)

~ Rebecca Newman (Editor, Alphabet Soup)

authors, teachers' resources

Two book reviews: Bush Secrets, and The Great Cold

Waarda is Nyungar for talking and sharing stories and information. And it is also the name of a new Indigenous children’s series launched this week to coincide with Indigenous Literacy Day!

We’ve read the first two books in the series, Bush Secrets, and The Great Cold, and we loved them. So, we thought this might be a good day to share them with you! As well as some great stories, at the back of each book you can read a bit about the authors, and where they grew up.

Bush Secrets by Tjalaminu Mia and Jessica Lister, illustrated by Tracey Gibbs (Fremantle Press, 2009)

Bush Secrets coverDebbie has two secrets and she doesn’t want to tell her brother, Billy, because she doesn’t think he ‘really understands what a secret is.’ But when her grandfather, Dada Keen comes for a visit, she knows she can tell him. And Dada Keen has a secret to show Debbie too – a special place in the bush! Debbie hopes that they can go bushwalking to find it, without Billy.

Will Dada Keen bring Billy with us when we go bushwalking tomorrow? I hope not. I’ve never had a special outing on my own with Dada Keen. It would be lovely if, for once, it could just be the two of us.

I cross my fingers and make a wish. Please let me go bushwalking with Dada Keen alone tomorrow.

Will my wish come true?

This book was written by a grandmother and her granddaughter. They show what’s special about the Australian bush, and how important it is to look after it.

The Great Cold by Gladys Milroy, illustrated by Tracey Gibbs (Fremantle Press, 2009)

The Great Cold (cover)‘The Great Cold is coming,’ said Magpie as Crow shivered in her nest.

‘You must leave before it’s too late.’

Ever since Moon became jealous of Sun and started a battle, everything had changed. If Moon won, there would be no light left, and everything outside the cavern would freeze. Crow is sitting on an egg in her nest and she doesn’t want to leave it. She decides to try to fly to the cavern with her nest in her beak. Will she make it in time? The Goannabird is her friend. But, on his own, can he stop the Great Cold from spreading?

This is a story about friendship and bravery, and about working together to help everyone in your community.

(Teachers can request free teaching notes for both of these books by emailing Claire Miller at Fremantle Press.)

Our review copies were sent to us by Fremantle Press