Review Blog

Oct 23 2011

The Story of Girbar by the Saibai Thabu Clan with Liz Thompson

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Pearson Australia, 2011. ISBN 978 1 4425 4692 9.
(Age 9+) The Story of Girbar is a wonderful book that not only describes the people of Saibai (an island in the Torres Strait) and their heritage but tells one of their stories - the story of Girbar. It is illustrated by children in the clan and is retold by the local story teller. The book is colourful and informative and will be enjoyed by independent readers from 9+ to adult. Throughout the whole book is a glossary, giving the English version to traditional words as well as instructions on how to pronounce them.
As a teacher, I can picture reading this book to students as a way to expose them to one of the Indigenous cultures that make up our country. Children could illustrate their own version of the story, research the islands in the Torres Strait and respond to the story as part of a reading program.
This story could be compared to Dreamtime stories of local Indigenous groups as well as other cultures from around the world. The best part is, it is part of a 14 book series, presenting studies of Indigenous cultures and each has a story specific to that group. A great hardcover book collection for any library.
Kylie Kempster

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