Australian Aboriginal Creators
Sally Morgan & Johnny Warrkatja Malibirr
I am SO excited that this story, brought to life by Aboriginal creators, is now available in North America! Little Bird’s Day follows, you guessed it, Little Bird. They fly across the land and wake up the world, which is a beautiful nod to Indigenous folklore. Little Bird has to fly past the clouds, crimson flowers, and even through the rain. The limited color palette of the illustrations is beautiful and is reminiscent of the earth. In the back is some additional information about Aboriginal Australians and small pictures of the other animals in the book.
You know I don’t share many books that are solely animal characters. But this book is the gentle reminder that I needed to keep in mind that non-human characters have significance, especially cultural significance, to different people.
I’ve talked before about growing up without any religious or spiritual education (I’m an unbaptized heathen and quite happy about it, thanks). But having these values and stories reflected back in the mainstream media of a global market must be extremely gratifying. I’m thrilled that this book has made it across the hemisphere and onto my bookshelf!
This book was kindly sent by Blue Dot Kids Press, but all opinions are my own! This book is available now.
Sally Morgan is one of Australia’s best-known Aboriginal artists and writers.
For as long as she can remember, Sally wanted to paint and write but at school she was discouraged from expressing herself through her art because her teachers failed to see the promise in her individual style. It was not until she researched her family history and discovered her Aboriginal identity that she found meaning in her images and gained the confidence to pick up her paints again.
Sally’s widely-acclaimed first book, My Place, has sold over half a million copies in Australia. Her children’s picture story books includeLittle Piggies and Hurry Up Oscar. She has collaborated with artist and illustrator Bronwyn Bancroft on several picture books including Dan’s Grampa. Curly and the Fent was written by Sally in collaboration with her children Ambelin, Blaze and Ezekiel.
Sally is a Professor at the Centre for Aboriginal Studies at the University of Western Australia and lives in Perth with her three children.
Johnny Warrkatja Malibirr
Johnny Warrkatja Malibirr is a Yolŋu man from the Ganalbingu clan and is known for his paintings of Ganalbingu song lines as well as his mother’s Wägilak clan stories. Along with other members of his clan, Johnny keeps culture strong through painting, song, dance and ceremony. He travelled to Canberra in 2000 and performed at the official opening of Aboriginal Modern Worlds exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia. Johnny lives in the remote East Arnhem Land community of Gapuwiyak, where he is Chair of the Gapuwiyak Culture and Arts Aboriginal Corporation.
In 2017Johnny was the inaugural winner of the Kestin Indigenous Illustrator Award. As the recipient of the biennial award, Johnny received $10,000, a mentorship and the opportunity to illustrate the children’s picture book, Little Bird’s Day by renowned author and illustrator Sally Morgan.