Review Blog

Oct 25 2011

Miiku and Tinta: A story from Umpila Country by Liz Thompson

cover image

Pearson Education, 2011. ISBN 9781442546936.
Miiku and Tinta comes from the Sharing Our Stories series of 14 books on indigenous culture. Each book shares a traditional story from a different indigenous community. These stories describe in detail the different traditions, cultural practices and creation beliefs of each community.
Miiku and Tinta is a creation story shared by the Umpila community in Lockhart River, located north of Cairns in Queensland. Along with the story, the book includes information about the Lockhart River community, information about the story from two storytellers as well as perspectives and information shared by children and elders in the community. Photographs of the contributors help the reader to connect more readily with the people and the culture from which the story of Miiku and Tinta originates. The story itself is illustrated with pictures drawn by children from the community which really helps to bring the story into a context that students in my year 5 class could relate to. At the bottom of most of the pages is a glossary which helps with understanding as you read.
 As a Read aloud, this book provides the opportunity for rich discussion about the traditions, beliefs and customs from Umpila Country. At the back of the book, the inclusion of the story written in Umpila language adds a worthwhile point of interest. I would recommend this book as a good tool for teaching research skills incorporating visual literacies as part of units centred on indigenous culture.
Matt Eldridge

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