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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Keep the kids happy with these book-treats for Christmas!


Bubbay: A Christmas Adventure
Josie Wowolla Boyle / Illustrated by Fern Martins
Magabala Books 2012 RRP: $19.95

As an Australian it can get tiring (and confusing for some) to constantly see images of snowmen and carols about white Christmas’ at this time of year, especially when we all know an Aussie Christmas Day often turns out be one of the hottest of the year. For someone like me living on the coast, I head the beach at Christmas time.

So with that in mind, I can tell you I absolutely LOVE this picture book because there’s not a snowball in sight! Bubbay: A Christmas Adventure is an Australian Christmas story, where the protagonist Bubbay lives in the outback and spends his days protecting a herd of goats from dingoes! There’s chooks and fig trees, swags and emus, bower birds and a magic Christmas tree.

This is not your average Christmas story; no baby Jesus, no mangers, no wise men, but that does not mean it is lacking spirituality, if you believe in what the universe can provide if have faith.

So this year swap for the snow for red earth and you’ll have the Christmas story you’ve s been waiting for!

Order Bubbay: A Christmas Adventure online via Magabala Books  or Booktopia today! And be sure and ask your library to get it in as well. This is perfect for story-time with the littlies.

Two Mates
Melanie Prewett / Illustrated by Maggie Prewett
Magabala Books 2012

A kid’s picture book that could be read as a story of Reconciliation (with mutual respect between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people) is Two Mates, written by Melanie Prewett and illustrated by Maggie Prewett. Based on the true story of two friends - Jack (Indigenous) and Raf (non-Indigenous) and how their mateship plays out in their coastal town on Broome.

Together the lads search for hermit crabs, go hunting for barni (goanna), fish for salmon, explore the markets, eat satays and dress up as superheroes. The reader only learns at the end of the story via an illustration that Raf is in a wheelchair due to spina bifida. So a double-message here is that race knows no boundaries and neither does disability when it comes to true friendship.

I love this book because it defines friendship perfectly.

Get your copy directly from Magabala Books or Booktopia now!

The Sugarbag
Written by Nola Turner-Jensen / Illustrated by Dub Leffler
Magabala Books 2012 RRP: $14.95

Declaring my bias straight up, I love Dub Leffler’s work. His title Once There Was a Boy http://anitaheissblog.blogspot.com.au/2011/10/review-once-there-was-boy.html remains one of my all time treasured books (see link to review). And this latest book The Sugarbag, written by Nola Turner-Jensen  (a Wiradjuri woman from central NSW) is up there too.

If you’ve got a sweet tooth like Max (one of the characters in the book) then you’ll love this tale about finding ‘sugarbag’ which is bush-tucker for Aboriginal people. While ‘sugarbag’ the European term for the honey produced by our native stingless bees, the Wiradjuri language word is ‘ngarruu’ (pronounced ‘narr roo’).

A great yarn that includes running, digging, poking and kicking logs, it truly made me appreciate the bush honey I buy at the supermarket. There’s a lot of work involved in collecting it if you go by how Jimmy and Max do.

You can order Sugarbag via Magabala  direct or from Booktopia.

I’m off to make a peanut butter and bush honey sandwich right now. That’s what we call ‘fusion-foods’ in my house!

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