Wednesday 27 March 2013

Solid Rock

Solid Rock [with CD] by Shane Howard, illustrated by kids from Mutitjulu, Kaltukatjara and Impana (One Day Hill)
PB RRP $24.99
ISBN 978-0-9873139-1-1
Reviewed by Jenny Heslop

I was a young teenager in the early 1980s when Solid Rock by Goanna was a big hit. I knew it well as a rock anthem which we all sang with enthusiasm and passion. But when I read this re-released picture book version of the song, I was unprepared for the impact reading the words had on me.

Solid Rock (Puli Kunpunka – Sacred Ground) tells a story which is part of our Australian history. It mixes the reality of white man’s invasion with the spirituality of the indigenous dreaming. It captures the beauty of the Australia and the anger over what transpired here.The majestic paintings of Uluru add to the powerful feeling of place, while the pictures by the children of the Mutitjulu, Kaltukatjara and Impana communities give the book grounding, depth and spirit.

The lyrics are translated, each page in both English and Pitantjatjara. The accompanying CD is sung also, in both languages. The original English version is performed by Shane Howard and his band. The second version, in the Pitjantjatjara language, features the school children from the same communities accompanying Shane and his band. Both versions are beautiful, stirring and unique.

This inspiring book should have a wide audience. It will appeal to children, to those who grew up in the 1980s, to fans of Shane Howard and Goanna, to all who love to sing and to those with a strong interest in Australian and indigenous history.

Every book sold will benefit the communities involved in this project as 25 percent of all profits are donated towards their youth initiatives.

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