New Titles from Black Ink Press

Black Ink is an Indigenous Publishing press who have just put out some fantastic new titles in picture books for children. I was lucky enough to be sent some copies to look at. (Expect to see these in Riverbend soon!)
Walkabout With Our Mates is a book by Esther Fischer which is very well suited for early readers. It tells the story of some young boys who go on a walk before dinner, and end up doing something their Mum thinks is extraordinary, but which they think is just the right thing to do. The pen and wash drawings by Kerensa McCann are really lovely, soft on the eyes and add a lot to the storytelling!

Guulaangga The Green Tree Frog is by Gloria Whalan, and tells the story of some city kids who come to visit their Nanna on the farm, and who have never seen a frog before. It is told using some Wiradjri words, like Guulaanga for frog and galiyn for water. A dictionary is provided at the front, and each page has the English and Wiradjri words provided. What a great way to learn about language as well as teaching children who may not be acquainted with nature about frogs.

My two favourite books were Over the Back Fence by Fay Gee-Hoy and Jaquanna Elliot, and Beautiful Colours by Tina Raveneau and Julie Neilson-Kelly.
Over the Back Fence has some wonderful  illustrations of Sydney’s terrace houses, and tells the story of a little girl visiting her relations, who must entertain herself throughout each day. One day a shady looking character calls out to her and asks her to open the gate. Luckily she calls out to Aunty first, and the man disappears. She is proud she has done the right thing and protected herself, even though she is a child. Great for teaching stranger danger and to teach children how to trust their own feelings and senses.

Beautiful Colours was my absolute fave. The illustrations are wonderful and very well planned. The images begin with a black and white sketch of a family sitting around a dinner table. Dad asks Sam a tricky question: what colour are you? On the next page the illustrations are full colour. Sam’s expressions as he thinks about what colour each member of his family is are cheeky and stunning. Around the table he goes, calling himself a blackfella, his sister a brownfella, his mother a whitefella, his youngest sister a pinkfella, until he gets to Dad. Dad’s a bluefella! And there’s a sudden cutaway that reveals that Sam has been naming the colours of his family’s clothes. This is a picture book full of humour and love. I love the final pronouncement,
“Our clothes are beautiful colours, aren’t they?”

“They sure are,” laughed Dad, “and so are we.”
This is based on a real-life incident at Tina’s table, when Sam was three. Cheeky, vibrant and wonderful, this is a picture book for families to treasure!

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~ by ConsanguineousMind on June 22, 2010.

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