Tuesday 27 May 2014

As I Grew Older

As I Grew Older written and illustrated by Ian Abdulla (Working Title Press)
PB RRP $14.99
ISBN 9781921504693
Reviewed by Vicki Thornton
Subtitled ‘The life and times of a Nunga growing up along the Murray River.’

With Ian Abdulla’s bright and naïve pictures, this is a history of a Nunga (Aboriginal) family living by the Murray River in the 1950’s and 1960’s. During this time there were very little opportunities for employment for Aborigines, and to survive, most families turned to the ways of their ancestors.

Abdulla describes with honesty everyday moments living on the land by the Murray River entailed such as buying sheep heads to eat, picking grapes to make some extra money, as well as hunting swan eggs to eat and catching rats to sell for their skins. It is a lost time, an important part of not only Australia’s social history but that of the Aboriginal people. 

Abdulla is sometimes described as one of the Australia’s greatest naïve artists, and his artwork helps to bring alive these childhood memories that to the majority of us are totally foreign. Ideal for middle and older primary children, wanting to know about the Aboriginal experience as well as that of Australia’s social history.

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