Saturday, 1 March 2014

Lilli and Shadow in Trouble

Lilli and Shadow in Trouble by Laura Dudgeon and Sabrina Dudgeon, illustrated by Sally Morgan and Tracey Gibbs (Fremantle Press)
PB RRP $9.99
ISBN 9-781-922-893-359
Reviewed by Neridah McMullin

The Waarda Series are wonderful little books. In Waarda, Nyungar is the word(s), for talking and sharing stories. Edited by Sally Morgan, the stories are designed to support the literacy needs of Indigenous children in primary school by making books available to them written by Indigenous authors. At the same time, it will introduce non-Indigenous children to the richness and depth of Indigenous storytelling. The stories in the series are adventurous stories that are easy and logical to read, fun, interesting and diverse. There’s a lot to learn in these little books. I did!

Lilli and Shadow have met before but are reunited in an exciting new adventure – only this time it’s Shadow that needs Lilli’s help. Someone, or something has taken over Shadow’s home in the big old mango tree and without his home Shadow is fading fast. With Nan to lends them a hand, and together they must find the best solution for everyone. I love Nan’s no-nonsense, firm but practical approach to life. She’s a very re-assuring character, always cheerful and she just knows how to handle things in life.

There are some beautiful themes represented in this story: the themes of family, cooperation, safety as well as the benefits of having a positive attitude. The grey lead sketched artwork throughout is gentle and fun, revealing Shadow and Glog, putting the whole story into perspective. There is also a map of Australia, showing Bardi country in the Kimberly in Western Australia where Laura and Sabrina Dudgeon are from.

The Waarda series is an exciting new Indigenous children’s series, ideal first chapter books for new readers.

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