Lisa Miranda Sarzin (text), Lauren Briggs (illus.) Stories for Simon, Random House, 1 May 2015, 32pp., $24.99 ISBN 9780857987440
Simon is a young boy who learns about the Stolen Generations and ‘Sorry Day’. He dreams about a storm in which the rain becomes ‘sorry’ stones and finds the stones in his room on awakening. On his way to find a place for the stones, he befriends a young indigenous boy named Vic, who takes him to meet his Nan, Aunty Betty. She swaps his stones for stories. The last precious story she tells is about how she was taken from her family when she was a girl. Simon develops a deeper appreciation of the past and the importance of saying, “Sorry”.
This is a story of friendship, understanding different cultures, reconciliation and hope for the future. The story is told in a simple narrative with deeper layers that allow readers to question, and conversations to take place, leading to deeper understanding. The stylised illustrations use organic shapes and reference the stones in the text. The symbolism of stones and stars add a mystical quality, reminiscent of traditional Indigenous stories. The author and illustrator received guidance from Vic Simms, an Aboriginal elder and the proceeds of the sale of the book go to the Goodes O’Loughlin Foundation. This is a perfect resource to use during Reconciliation Week and satisfies the cross-curriculum priority of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures.
- Teachers’ Resources
- Interview with the Author and Illustrator on YouTube
- Book Launch with Adam Goodes and Michael O’Loughlin from the Sydney Swans AFL team :
Recommended for all primary school readers.
reviewed by Sharon Seymour