Boori Monty Pryor (text) and Rita Sinclair (illustrator), Story Doctors, Allen & Unwin, July 2021, 32 pp., RRP $24.99 (hbk), ISBN 9781760526559
Story Doctors is an extraordinary story of healing. It asks readers aged 7-12 and older to listen deeply to and to feel what the author Boori Monty Pryor carries in him.
The story that Boori carries tells of the sickness and pain of Australia’s history through an Indigenous perspective. Boori shares his pain in writing this story during a pandemic lockdown and about how the story can be a pathway to healing, explaining that these are written words of medicine.
The text is poetic and hypnotically rhythmic, which creates a wonderful reading experience with groups. A QR code directs readers to the publisher’s website to hear Boori read the book in Kunggandji (coming soon) and English.
Place, land, wildlife, and our connection with nature is held in beautiful moments through Rita Sinclair’s magnificent illustrations. There is a powerful visual story, that echoes the need to heal through reconciliation and how we must all learn from this pain in our shared Australian history.
Story Doctors has a deep sensory story. It is a vital, gentle, and urgent call to listen so that all Australians can heal together and belong together.
Reviewed by Angela Brown