Wednesday 22 May 2024

Walking the Rock Country in Kakadu

Walking the Rock Country in Kakadu by Diane Lucas, Ben Tyler and Emma Long (Allen & Unwin) HB RRP $29.99 ISBN9781761067860

This book shows a breathtaking encounter with the magnificent rock country of Australia's iconic Kakadu National Park, from the highly acclaimed creators of Walking in Gagudju Country: Exploring the Monsoon Forest.

From the authors of the bestselling Walking with the Seasons in Kakadu comes this rich and fascinating book bringing together First Nations Australian knowledge, language, and history with Western science. This is the second of a proposed series of three titles, with the final titles to focus on the floodplains.

Diane Lucas and Ben Tyler share stories, knowledge, and their love of the land on a walk through one of Australia’s most ancient and beautiful ecosystems, introducing Kyndjeyehmi language, one of the languages of Kakadu and western Arnhem Land, along the way.

Illustrator Long’s detailed and beautifully rendered images vividly depict the rich and varied plant and animal life of this unique place, encouraging young and old to see, hear, smell, and feel the land and experience how Aboriginal people and lived and walked Country for thousands of years. Her fly pages of insect life among flowers, other plants, and rocks are stunning, and her interior pages are detailed and beautiful.

This is not a typical picture book insofar as the text is long and detailed as a family walks through the country observing wildlife in all its forms. As the text continues, there is frequent use of native words, like ‘Marrawuddi’ (or white-bellied sea eagle), and ‘Karlkki’ (or tadpoles).

At the end of the book there is an illustrated glossary of these words. And, too, there are longish acknowledgements from the book’s three creators.

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