Friday 3 September 2021

Today's Sun

Today's Sun by Gregg Dreise, illustrations by Kamilaroi (Puffin Books) HB RRP $14.99 ISBN 9781760898335

Reviewed by Dianne Bates

The idea of board books for babies such as this, Puffin says, is to raise a reader. Illustrated in black and white, the story is a series of sentences which begin, ‘As today’s sun yawned/stretched/thawed’ and so on. It is told in first-person, but it is difficult to know who the ‘I’ is. For example, one double-page spread reads, ‘As today’s sun cooled, I played hide-and-see like a camouflaged tawny.’ It is accompanied with a stylised picture of a tawny frogmouth owl and two babies on a branch with a stylised border of Aboriginal prints and a sun.

All the twelve pages of this small book are illustrated in artwork that one recognises as Indigenous, a great way to introduce small children to Australian animals and illustrations. There are six sentences altogether, with some vocabulary alien to the youngest readers. This means, of course, the book will need to be read – and explained – to youngsters by adult readers.

With regards to the illustrator, it is interesting to note that the Kamilaroi were an Aboriginal group located in New South Wales along the Barwon, Bundarra, Balonne, and upper Hunter rivers and in the Liverpool plains. They are now nearly extinct and only a small number remain.

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