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Posts Tagged ‘Aboriginal seasons’

Book Review: My Home Broome, by Tamzyne Richardson and Bronwyn Houston

Posted by Lisa Hill on July 7, 2012


I’ve been hosting Indigenous Literature Week on my ANZ LitLovers Blog so it’s appropriate that I review a couple of children’s books by indigenous authors here at LisaHillSchoolStuff.

My Home Broome is an enchanting picture book which celebrates the multicultural community at Broome WA while also paying respect to the traditions and culture of its indigenous people.  Exquisitely illustrated with bright and jazzy colours by Bronwyn Houston from the Nyiyaparli and Yindijibarndi people of the Kimberly, the book features a poem written by ten-year-old Tamzyne Richardson of the Yawaru and Bardi people.  She wrote it when she was recovering from swine flu, and its publication became a community project involving twelve other students who worked with Houston to bring the poem to life. 

Chock full of fascinating snippets about Broome – its pearling industry, its wildlife, its bush food, its history and its enticing tourist attractions – My Home Broome is not just a lovely souvenir book or a book of interest to local children. It would also be a valuable addition to school libraries on the eastern seaboard because the mining boom has made Western Australia pivotal to the Australian economy, and many families relocate there for short periods of time to take up job opportunities. 

But that is not the only reason why this book should be walking off the shelves at bookstores across Australia.  It is the only children’s book I’ve ever come across to explain Aboriginal seasons, and since these are mentioned as topics for study in the new Australian curriculum, My Home Broome is a valuable resource.  It names the six Yawuru Seasons: Man-gala, Marrul, Wirralburu, Barrgana, Wiriburu and Laja, and anyone who’s going salmon fishing in the region can use this book to find out which is which because these seasons are defined not only by subtle distinctions in the climate but also by seasonal availability of flora and fauna.

My favourite page is the last:

I live in a place where kids ride their bikes and meet on the street.
I live in a place I know best.
My home Broome.

Tamzyne tells us on this page that a ‘bubbly’ is Broome-talk for a good mate, that the houses were built with shutters instead of windows to let in cool breezes and that the ones in Chinatown were built of stilts because of the huge tides.  There’s also a delicious recipe for fish soup and rice to try out.

Like all good books about Aboriginal history and culture, the book acknowledges all the contributors (which cheeky photos of the kids who worked with Bronwyn Houston) and includes information about the indigenous origins of the authors. 

Authors: Tamzyne Richardson and Bronwyn Houston
Title: My Home Broome
Publisher: Magabala Books 2012
ISBN:9781921248467
Review copy courtesy of Magabala Books

Highly recommended.  

Availability:
Fishpond:My Home Broome or direct from Magabala Books

Posted in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures, Australian Children's Literature, Authors & Illustrators, Book Reviews, Indigenous Teaching Resources, Recommended books, School Library stuff | Tagged: , , , , , | 11 Comments »