Harrold, Sandi (illus.) Uncle Joe Kirk with Greer Casey and Sandi Harrold (text) Budinge and the Min Min Lights ISBN 9781743628577 SCIS 1694594; Duelgum: the story of the mother eel ISBN 9781743623114 SCIS 1692125 Scholastic, 2015 unpaged $15.99 pbk
Both these books are beautifully put together with high quality art work, each drawing on stories of Aboriginal culture in the Brisbane area. The Min Min story comes from the dreaming and explains one of the methods that Aboriginal adults used to keep their children safe.
The second book is a delightful and interesting tale about the life cycle of the eel as the mother moves from the fresh water into the ocean to lay her eggs and then follows the journey the young eels make back to their waterhole. This tale is well told and informative about an aspect of eels that would be new to many children.
The writers and illustrators have worked together to ensure that their cultural heritage is maintained in a meaningful and culturally acceptable manner. The final page in each book presents some brief background notes to provide a context for the stories. Importantly these are books that will appeal to any child, regardless of their culture, but they also provide a window through which readers can understand the importance of story for everyone. Suitable for 3-8 years.
reviewed by Sue Clancy