Welcome To Country – Joy Murphy and Lisa Kennedy (ill.) – Black Dog Books
Welcome to the traditional lands of the Wurundjeri People. We are part of this land and the land is part of us. This is where we come from. Wominjeka Wurundjeri balluk yearmenn koondee bik. Welcome to Country.
Welcome To Country shares the wonderful traditional words of welcome from the Wurundjeri People of Melbourne. It is beautifully written and the words flow gently over the pages, set against gorgeous illustrations.
In a day when showing respect to the traditional owners of the land is so key (though it has never not been important, I might add), it is wonderful to share the words traditionally used to welcome visitors.
Some of these phrases might be familiar, heard at the start of sports games or cultural events. The only words in traditional language are on the first and last pages, which makes reading it aloud a lot easier. And, in it certainly is a wonderful book to read aloud. The messages shared within the words, messages of welcome respect, caring for the land and the deep connectedness with the land, are beautiful and just as relevant today as they no doubt were thousands of years ago.
The illustrations are breathtaking. Deep reds, blues and greens are offset by vibrant white dots, which outline rivers, enhance night skies and evoke a true sense of traditional Indigenous paintings.
The publisher also provides links to teacher notes and a range of activities, further information and quizzes on their website.
It is no wonder that this book has been shortlisted for the CBCA Crichton Award for New Illustrators in 2017.
Category: Children’s Fiction, Picture Books
Themes: Aboriginal Australians, rites, ceremonies, Wurundjeri (Australian People), Social life and customs, Intercultural communication, Australia
Reading age guide: Ages 5 and up.
Published: 1 August 2016 by Black Dog Books
Format: Hardcover. 32 pages.