Benny Bungarra’s Big Bush Clean-up (Sally Morgan, illus by Ambelin Kwaymullina, Magabala Books)
Benny Bungarra’s Big Bush Clean-up is an animal tale with a strong environmental message. When Benny Bungarra investigates some strange noises in the bush, he comes across different animals that have all been affected by waste created by humans. Thankfully Benny Bungarra has some clever tricks to help the animals out in the short term, but they still need a plan to tackle the ongoing problem. Mother-and-daughter duo Sally Morgan and Ambelin Kwaymullina have teamed up again to create another positive and vibrant picture book, this time in service of their shared passion for our natural world. The book gently suggests that we all have our part to play: while the animals come up with ways that humans can lessen their impact—by reusing, recycling and using rubbish bins—Benny Bungarra also suggests that the animals take matters into their own hands. The question-and-answer format of the storytelling is easily digestible for early childhood through to lower primary, making this book a great teaching tool for the classroom. Kwaymullina’s gorgeous, colourful art is always a joy, no matter your age.
Bronte Coates is the digital content coordinator and prize manager at Readings