We do love our sunburnt country. Even when it’s been scorching hot (where we are) for weeks—and even with all its faults and growing pains. We love the kindness of its people, the beauty of its landscapes, the welcome in its Anthem and the camaraderie of its holidays.
Since we’re all proud Australian women we've chosen one picture book each to share today. Ivy is making her ‘writing’ debut too. You'll understand that it wasn't easy to confine ourselves to one each, so you might like to check out some others that we love in our Australia section. Here they are, we hope you find something you love amongst them:
Kim: Stolen Girl
A solemn book for a celebration day but one of my favourites. It tells the story of a child of the Stolen Generation and ends with hope. It's beautiful to look at and appropriately ponderous in tone—the perfect introduction to an important topic. (There’s a full post coming about Stolen Girl in February.)
Joan: Waltzing Matilda
No jumbucks were harmed in Freya Blackwood’s version of this story! The swaggie and the shearers not so much. Like 'Banjo' Paterson himself in 1895, Freya is sympathetic to the shearers’ cause and her illustrations bring this iconic story into sharp focus. There's a John Williamson singalong CD in the back of the book and here's a wonderful youtube version for today. Enjoy!
Samantha: Wombat Stew
This was one of my favourite books growing up, I remember snuggling in next to Mum while she read it over and over again. It’s still one of my favourite books and I love that I now get to read it over and over again to my daughter Ivy.
Ivy: Sail Away: The ballad of Skip and Nell
I like Skip and Nell because of the toad. He has a funny shirt with pineapples on it. The Tassie devil has enoculars (binoculars).
Louisa: The Bilbies of Bliss
This is a wonderful story of how one bilby—or person—can make a difference. It shows the importance of looking out for one another, particularly if the other person has no one else to do so. It reminds me how important it is to be nice person. (It’s not in print anymore which is a shame, but you can find it in libraries or second hand.)
Jess: From Little Things Big Things Grow
I love this book because it speaks to the rebel in every Australian. Last year was the 50th anniversary of the Wattie Creek strike (the beginning of a 9-year battle for equal pay and land rights). At school, to remember the occasion, we opened From Little Things Big Things Grow and played the song by Paul Kelly and Kev Carmody as we turned the pages. I'll always remember that moment when the children decided to join in and sing the chorus:
'From little things big things grow! From little things big things grow!'
It was a magical moment of connection with those people who fought for what was right so long ago. Whenever I read this book I remember that we can all change the world. After all Australia is full of rebels.
Have a listen:
Have a wonderful Australia Day everyone! Wherever you are around the world!