Maree McCarthy Yoelu (text) and Samantha Fry (illustrator), Brother Moon, Magabala Books, March 2020, 32 pp., RRP $24.99 (hbk), ISBN 9789781925936827
The moon has inspired many stories across time and cultures – here is one from the Wadjigany people of the Northern Territory.
Great grandpa Liman, the grandfather of the author, tells the story about his brother, the moon. ‘Open your eyes and ears’, he says to the youngster sharing his campfire.
Liman explains how his brother is wise and shows him the way at night. He shines a light in the water so that he can see the eyes of the crocodiles when fishing. The story presented as a riddle with Liman giving lots of clues is helped enormously by the illustrations which show all the stages of a waxing and waning moon. So it is not really a surprise when the answer to the question ‘who is your brother?’ is ‘the moon’. The title is also a bit of a giveaway.
This gentle story illustrating the sharing of knowledge and feelings is told in spare text and lush illustration and will be enjoyed by many children. A page at the back gives some more information about Liman and his life and also about Hippy, the young boy to whom he tells the story.
Reviewed by Mia Macrossan