Black Cockatoo

Publisher: Magabala Books

Authors: Carl Merrison, Hakea Hustler

Black Cockatoo is a vignette that follows Mia, a young Aboriginal girl, as she explores the fragile connections of family and culture. Mia is a 13-year-old girl from a remote community in the Kimberley. She is saddened by the loss of her brother as he distances himself from the family. She feels powerless to change the things she sees around her, until one day she rescues her totem animal, the dirran black cockatoo, and soon discovers her own inner strength.

A wonderful small tale on the power of standing up for yourself, culture and ever-present family ties.

“This deceptively simple tale has a quiet power... It is a reminder that gentleness is a form of strength.” - Judges comments, Readings Children’s Book Prize

Mum’s Elephant

Publisher: Magabala Books

Author: Maureen Jipiyiliya Nampijinpa O’Keefe

Illustrator: Christina Booth

Maureen Jipiyiliya Nampijinpa O’Keefe grew up in the remote community of Ali Curung in the Northern Territory. Her family lived a bush life. They didn’t own much but her mother had a very special ‘elephant’. It was her mother’s most prized possession and she gave it tender loving care. When her mother’s friends were around, they had tea-parties with the elephant. Often her mother would sleep with it beside her bed.

Christina Booth’s splendid illustrations of desert landscapes and bush life deepen the mystery of the elephant, only revealing subtle clues to its true identity. The reader is beguiled by the storytelling until the elephant is finally revealed.

Maureen Jipiyiliya Nampijinpa O’Keefe is a natural storyteller and conveys warmth and humour in her writing. Mum’s Elephant will intrigue children and remind adult readers of the simple things that held a special charm when they were young.

Clever Crow

Publisher: Magabala Books

Author: Nina Lawrence

Illustrator: Bronwyn Bancroft

Clever Crow is an endearing and witty tale that follows the exploits of a hungry and very clever crow. Crow searches in the bush for food but he can find none. It is only when he comes across people preparing for a ceremony that his luck changes. Crow spots a big turtle egg waiting to be cooked, and he cries out, ‘Yummy, food for me!’ But it is not an easy task stealing a turtle egg – even for a clever crow. Crow has to be cleverer than he has ever been before!

Children will love Bronwyn Bancrofts’s distinctive illustrations, and how the Djambarrpuynu language translation – Yolngu language from North East Arnhem Land – is woven into the design.

Finalist – 2019 International Book Awards (Children’s Picture Book: Hardcover Fiction category).

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