Review Blog

Oct 31 2011

Djulpan: A story from the Yirritja Clans of north-east Arnhem Land by Liz Thompson

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Pearson, 2011. ISBN 978 1 4425 4695 0. 24pp
(Age: Lower primary to be read to and upper primary and lower secondary for research) Well recommended. An amazingly complex but beautifully presented story of the Yolnu people and their relationship with their ancestors and their connections to the land. The Contents clearly describe the shape of the book, from the introduction by a Yirritja man to sharing the story of the Djulpan (the Yolnu word for the constellation Orion, shaped like a canoe) to reading the stories of individuals, both the children and the elders' who live there. Glorious descriptive and detailed paintings from the children of years Four and Five give the story authenticity and strength as well as clearly conveying the story being told. Each page has a glossary which is very helpful as well as the pronunciation in brackets after the word. The text is large and well spaced and each page well balanced with text and pictures both from the children and expressive photographs taken by the author Liz Thompson. The Index covers the main points and as the glossary is at the bottom of each page the whole work is cohesive and well structured. As part of a unit of work this and The danger Seed give non aboriginal children a detailed and very loving introduction to another culture. The story is also written in the Djambarrpuyna (Dhuwa) language. The number of pages is appropriate. Liz Thompson has captured the story with joy and respect.
Sue Nosworthy

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