Saturday 18 September 2021

Sorry Sorry

Sorry Sorry by Anne Kerr and cover by Marda Pitt (Boolarong Publishing) PB HB RRP $29.99 ISBN 978 1 925877359

Reviewed by Karen Hendriks 

Sorry Sorry is a story about the shared complex history of our nation that is told through the eyes of Australia’s First Nation people. It focuses upon reconciliation, forgiveness and hope for a brighter future. This book is for all young Australians to understand, respect and honour each other’s culture.


Anne Kerr has written the text simply and directly so that a young child can easily understand the story. A long time ago, when the First Peoples were hunting and fishing, there were no others in this country. She shares how the arrival of others is viewed through Indigenous eyes. The cloud was tied by strings to a huge canoe that the wind was blowing to their beach. I love that Kerr’s words are gentle and that she ends the story with positivity; we are all going forward together. This is a journey. A journey together where it is important to share, be fair and to care. She uses a mix of short and long sentences. This gives the story a flow that lets the reader take in the messages. Kerr uses some repetition and shows us the consequences of actions and the healing afterwards.


Kerr’s indigenous illustrations are simple and effective with touches of dot patterning throughout. The colour palette reflects the emotions of the story. I love the illustration with two feet, one for Indigenous, and one for others and how they are shown together. The backmatter includes creating a story journey and shows the reader how they too could draw their own. The simplicity of the child-like images allows the story to speak louder to the reader. The back matter in the book includes teacher notes and information about Marda Pitt who created the cover.


Sorry Sorry is for children 3-12 years and is a story to be shared to give an understanding of our history as a nation. The book focuses upon moving forward not looking back. It is a wonderful teaching resource that teachers will enjoy using. It draws attention to social justice issues and is thought provoking. It is the sort of story that can appeal to a range of ages.

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