NAIDOC Week celebrations will be held from 3-10 July 2022. NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. NAIDOC Week is a time for us to embrace and learn about the true history of Australia’s Indigenous peoples and we love the use of books, reading and storytime as a way to do that with our kids.
Here’s a list of our favourite First Nation’s books to help us celebrate and explain what NAIDOC Week means.
Poppy and the Great Ocean Garbage Patch
Written by Karen Jones Hauser
Illustrated by Scott Rathman
Poppy dreamed of big adventures. To explore home and the oceans beyond. Poppy was warned to be careful. What dangers could be out there? Unfortunately, the danger came from the unexpected. Things that look like they sparkle and shine to our beautiful sea animals. Will Poppy and friends make it through the danger in the ocean? Let’s all learn together how we can keep our oceans clean and safe. And don’t forget to scan the QR codes to hear and learn some new Kaurna words whilst on this adventure!
Benny Bungarra’s Big Bush Clean Up
Written by Sally Morgan
Illustrated by Ambelin Kwaymullina
Sally Morgan has written so many incredible books, and this is another to add to the book shelf! This book is great for younger children, with an environmental message about protecting and caring for the environment. Your children will love the illustrations.
Written by Adam Goodes and Ellie Laing
Illustrated by David Hardy
An accessible picture book for young children that introduces First Nations history and the term ‘terra nullius’ to a general audience, from Australian of the Year, community leader and anti-racism advocate Adam Goodes and political adviser and former journalist Ellie Laing, with artwork by Barkindji illustrator David Hardy.
Welcome to Country
Written by Aunty Joy Murphy
Illustrated by Lisa Kennedy
Aunty Joy Wandin Murphy is a most respected senior Wurundjeri elder of the Kulin alliance. This is a very accessible welcome that introduces and gives meaning and explanation within the text to the customs and symbols of Indigenous Australia.
Young Dark Emu
By Bruce Pascoe
This book is really interesting and best for children aged 9+. We read it to our 5 and 7 year old children to make sure they fully understand the content. It has lots of information about battles, stolen land and culture, food, aquaculture and more. This book is a wonderful way to teach your children more about the importance of Aboriginal culture and sustainable practices but is a longer read.
Our Home, Our Heartbeat
Written by Briggs
Illustrated by Kate Moon and Rachel Sara
Our Home, Our Heartbeat is a celebration of Indigenous legends and it pays respect to the oldest continuous culture on earth.
Welcome to Country
Written by Marcia Langton
Welcome to Country is a guidebook to Indigenous Australia and the Torres Strait Islands. Professor Marcia Langton offers fascinating insights into Indigenous languages and customs, history, native title, art and dance, storytelling, and cultural awareness and etiquette for visitors.
Finding Our Heart: A Story about the Uluru Statement for Young Australians
Written by Thomas Mayor
Illustrated by Blak Douglas
A great read for young and old. The pictures are beautiful, and the message is important: let’s look after each other, and our country. Let’s understand what the Uluru Statement is and what it means. A lovely, meaningful book.
Written by Mark Greenwood
Illustrated by Terry Denton
**This book is not suitable for younger readers**
The story is set in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. To the settlers, Jandamarra was an outlaw, but to the Bunuba he was a hero. This is a tragic, but important, story.
The Art in Country
By Bronwyn Bancroft
Our children (aged 3, 5, 7) have spent ages poring over this book. The artwork within it is detailed, colourful and intricate. We love this book and come back to it time and time again to talk about and decipher each picture and what it represents. Love this one!
Written by Bruce Pascoe and Vicky Shukurolgou
This is a wonderfully detailed book for anyone who is thinking of travelling around their state, or our beautiful country (COVID restrictions allowing!). Loving Country is a guidebook that offers a new way to travel and discover Australia through an Indigenous narrative. It is beautifully photographed and features 18 locations.
Written by Bruce Pascoe
Illustrated by Charmaine Ledden-Lewis
This story is about a small calf who is taken away, after being lost and separated from it’s family. The calf tries to find it’s family throughout the story.
Written by Amy McQuire
Illustrated by Matt Chun
Day Break is the story of a family making their way back to Country on January 26. They work together to move through the landscape and overcome challenges. This is a confronting, yet truthful, book.
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