Sunday 19 October 2014

Karana: The Story of Father Emu

Karana: The Story of Father Emu by Uncle Joe Kirk, with Greer Casey and Sandi Harrold, illustrated by Sandi Harrold (Scholastic Australia)
PB RRP $15.99
ISBN 978-1-74362-313-8
Reviewed by Jenny Heslop

Karana is the tale of a father emu hatching and raising his chicks. This Indigenous story is told by Uncle Joe Kirk, a Wakka Wakka elder, and the emu holds much significance in the Wakka Wakka culture. He symbolises the father figure who nurtures the whole family.

Each page is filled with soft illustrations, expressing the togetherness of the emu family and the simplicity of life lessons while rhyming couplets create an engaging and lively story.

    Up she jumped and wandered away,

    While Karana sat on those eggs for thirty-two days.

    He sat there alone in the rain and the heat,

    With no water to drink and no food to eat.

So many facts about emu’s and chicks are imparted throughout the story as Karana teaches his chicks about when the waterhole is safest, where the best protection is, what foods to eat and how to swallow stones to help with their digestion.

Children will relate to learning about life through the care and teachings of families and the overriding message is of love and the father/children bond.

    ‘These are my chicks. I love them a lot...

    I will stay with them NO MATTER WHAT!’

This gentle story about love, families and the cyclical nature of life is strongly Australian in narrative and illustrations. It is a lovely read aloud book for the very young.



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