Magabala Books is a W.A. publishing house that aims to promote, preserve and publish Indigenous Australian culture. One of their forthcoming picture book titles is an interesting fusion of Aboriginal and non-indigenous spiritual beliefs:
Bubbay, a young boy with no family lives alone in the outback herding his goats and camping out independently of any adult support. As Christmas looms he longs to celebrate it and wishes also for a family. A Christmas tree magically appears in the desert but it sets him a quest which looks impossible – until the magical old Grandma Gubarlee arrives to lend a hand. He achieves his quest, and gets his dearest wish as well.
So it’s a lovely story with a happy ending that evokes reconciliation, but it doesn’t gloss over the social dysfunction that derives from land dispossession and the Stolen Generation policies. Non-indigenous children will have questions about this which will need to be discussed with sensitivity.
The illustrations are bright and colourful and the hardback book is produced on quality paper.
Like all good books about Aboriginal history and culture, the book acknowledges all the contributors and includes information about the indigenous origins of the authors.
Magabala Books have also just launched a literacy series of little books for take-home reading called Deadly Reads for Deadly Readers (Saltwater Series). They are simple graded texts with gorgeous colourful illustrations featuring indigenous children and art styles. For more information see their website.
Authors: Josie Wowolla Boyle and Fern Martins
Title: Bubbay, A Christmas Adventure
Publisher: Magabala Books 2012
Review copy courtesy of Magabala Books