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'If students can't learn the way we teach, we must teach the way they learn' (Tomlinson)

Book Review: Alfie’s Search for Destiny, by David Hardy

Posted by Lisa Hill on June 6, 2013


Alfie's Search for DestinyAlfie’s Search for Destiny is another title from Australia’s first Indigenous Australian publisher, Magabala Books.  It’s a sweet little rhyming story that features a theme common in picture books for small children keen to explore their world but are not quite ready for it -  about a little boy who leaves home in search of his destiny , only to realise that his destiny is at home.

What makes this version a little bit different is the Disneyesque cartoon characters that have morphed into an outback Aussie landscape.  Alfie has those classic Disney facial expressions and gestures, but he wears the iconic red headband and loincloth of indigenous people, and the natural world into which he ventures is populated by Aussie crocs, ‘roos,  koalas and so on.   His mum wears ochre-coloured clothing of indigenous design and his dad, seen in silhouette, balances on one leg with a spear in his hand.  So the sub-text of the story is about a universal theme which has special resonance for indigenous people still recovering from the trauma of the Stolen Generations: the importance of family and community.

Perhaps it has autobiographical elements too. David Hardy is an Indigenous freelance artist who worked for eight years with Walt Disney Studios in feature film animation, and has now come home.

While he was with Disney, this talented artist worked on The Lion King 3: Hakuna Matata, Tarzan II, Lilo and Stitch2 and Return to Neverland.  He was also ‘clean-up animation director in Manila, Philippines, where he worked on  Disney classics sequels, The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning and The Fox and the Hound 2.

If he ever makes it down to Melbourne on a promotional tour, I’d love him to talk to my students: what a wonderful role model he is for career opportunities in the creative arts!

Author: David Hardy
Title: Alfie’s Search for Destiny
Publisher: Magabala Books, 2013
ISBN: 9781922142115
Source: Review copy courtesy of Magabala Books

Availability

Fishpond: Alfie’s Search for Destiny
Or direct from Magabala Books

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