Kids’ Book Review: Review: Listen

a very timely arrival given the upcoming opportunity to make a momentous
national decision, this is the new brilliant and beautiful offering from the
team who gave us the sensational We Are Australians [CBCA Award for New Illustrator 2023]

Duncan Smith, proud Wiradjuri man, and Nicole Godwin collaborate again with
celebrated artist and inspirational speaker, Jandamarra Cadd, Yorta Yorta and
Dja Dja Warung man, to bring this reflection on the importance of hearing the
voices of our First Australians.

As with the earlier book, the text is poetically
simple but intensely powerful. Nicole Godwin and Duncan Smith have eloquently
expressed the sentiments of so many of us, both First Nations and
non-Indigenous, who are committed to initiating healing of the past and a
future where we all walk together.

truth-telling, first languages, Dreaming stories, Treaty, Songlines, culture,
Country, Reconciliation – all these are key to understanding and bridging the
gap between all our peoples, and the reason we need to listen to the voices of
our traditional owners. Those who have any doubts about that would do well to
do their research on the still immense gaps and shortfalls between what is the
experience of First Australians as compared to the rest of our population.

Cadd’s art is, as always, stunning, and his work in illustrating both these
books have raised the bar considerably for many budding illustrators. He has
used real people as the subjects for the paintings that grace this book, using
his combination of traditional Aboriginal art techniques but in his own
distinctive style. The result, to put it simply, is once again utterly
breathtaking. If you have not yet done so, I urge you to seek out his art, and
be prepared to be blown away. His portrait of the late Uncle Jack Charles,
uncle in family as well as the honorary title of respect, is one with which
many might be familiar, but there is so much more to see.

again, this is a book that transcends our usual concept of ‘picture book’.
Certainly, it is an illustrated book which has an audience that spans the very
young to the old, and is an essential title for any collection, whether school
or home. The
teaching notes will provide educators,
and individuals, with a very comprehensive examination of the book and its
purpose. I offer this review as the mother and grandmother of proud Wiradjuri
daughters and their offspring, with a fervent wish for every reader to take
heed and ‘listen’.

 It is my belief that, like the earlier book,
this is a must-have, a must-share and a must-read. I cannot give it any higher
recommendation to you.

Authors: Nicole Godwin/Duncan Smith
Illustrator: Jandamarra Cadd
Publisher: Wild Dog Books, $24.99
Date of Publication: 30 August 2023
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781742036731
For ages: 4 – Adult
Type: Picture Book

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