Kids’ Book Review: Review: Back On Country

The third instalment in the Welcome to Our Country picture
book series, Back on Country is a celebration of family, culture and Country.

In this stunning picture book collaboration between
Adnyamathanha and Narungga author Adam Goodes, author and communications
professional Ellie Laing and Barkindji illustrator David Hardy, we meet Lucy and
David as they travel to see their grandparents back on Country — Adnyamathanha

They meet relatives, visit important family locations and learn about their culture and history, bringing readers with
them on the journey. It feels intimate and special, as if readers have been
invited on the trip, too.

The story draws on Goodes’ and Hardy’s own experience of going back to Country — going back to reconnect with the
people and places who make us who we are. It’s a gentle story, but highly engaging. It’s the kind of
book that reaches the end before you even realise you’ve got there, leaving you wanting more.

A wonderful learning experience for kids and their
families. A gift of knowledge and learning. With Adnyamathanha language used
throughout, the book also introduces kids to new words, backing them up with
definitions woven into the story or illustrations. It’s a very immersive way to
learn. It’s invisible and learning that doesn’t stop the story at any point.
The stunning endpapers also provide support, with Adnyamathanha and
English words alongside each other and matching illustrations to help cement

Hardy’s illustrations are stunning,
delivered in a funky, engaging style that brings the landscape and characters
to life. The colours are rich, bright and welcoming. They are everything that feels like home.

This book (and its series) is powerful and important.
Through knowledge we can learn more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
cultures. Through knowledge we can connect with one another. And I don’t know
about you, but I find stories explored together — particularly picture books — to
be the perfect way to share, learn and grow. No matter our age.

This is a great book for classrooms, and it’s supported with comprehensive
teaching notes provided on the publisher’s website. Make sure you check out the
other great books in this series, too:
Ceremony and Somebody’s Land

Title: Back on Country
Author: Adam Goodes and Ellie Laing
Illustrator: David Hardy
Publisher: Allen and Unwin, $24.99
Publication Date: 1 November 2022
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781761065088
For ages: 4+
Type: Picture Book

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