My Culture and Me (Gregg Dreise, Puffin)
This beautiful picture book presents the voice of an Indigenous child relating the importance of knowing and living your culture. Beginning with an expression of love for Country and family, the book then describes preparations for a corroboree and finishes by showing how culture is passed from parent to child. It has rhyming language and colourful illustrations similar to those of Sally Morgan and Ambelin Kwaymullina. My Culture and Me features Indigenous grandfathers, fathers, sons, uncles and cousins sharing and performing culture together, and what is described isn’t specific to any one Indigenous community but is representative of the ceremony and spirituality of Indigenous Australia. This book is perfect for Indigenous children who are finding their place in the revitalisation of Indigenous culture around Australia and will also appeal to primary school-aged children learning about Indigenous culture—Indigenous dance, music, instruments, spirituality and connection to Country are all featured. The ‘Dark Emu’ celestial being appears in the sky on the last three pages, a figure that has come to be the emblem of Indigenous agriculture via Bruce Pascoe’s bestseller Dark Emu. The ‘Dark Emu’ can be spotted from anywhere in Australia and is a great starting point for discussing Indigenous science with kids.
Cassie Lynch is a Noongar woman, ex-bookseller and current PhD student