Review Blog

Jul 23 2012

My home Broome by Tanzyne Richardson and Bronwyn Houston

cover image

Magabala Books, 2012. ISBN 9781921248467.
(All ages) Warmly recommended. Picture book. Aboriginal stories. When 10 year old Tanzyne was kept at home with a bout of swine flu, she decided to write a poem about why she liked living in Broome. Two years later after an established artist worked with 12 students selected from the schools in Broome to be trained and mentored in their work, this happy, fun filled, brightly coloured book is the result.
On each page is a stanza from Tanzyne's poem, surrounded by detailed illustrations of the things mentioned. Each stanza takes on a different aspect of Broome life, the Yawuru people, bush tucker, pearl divers, animals, birds, big industry, fish, playing with other kids, the trees and flowers on the cliffs and beaches. Each stanza is richly illustrated by the large group of children who worked with Bronwyn Houston. Their detailed illustrations give an impression of Broome running parallel to the words. So the reader can pick out a myriad of features that make up Broome today: middens on the beach showing the longevity of the Yawuru people int he area, a baob tree, the diversity of cultures, the festivals, markets, the staircase moon, the humpback whale and the housing.
The book closes with a thumbnail sketch of the 12 illustrators and an outline of those who helped Tanzyne and Bronwyn in their task.
Magabala books is producing a range of fascinating material about a part of Australia rarely seen in written form, so giving students across the country a wonderful opportunity to know it better.
And this book, written and illustrated by children will have an immediate appeal to primary school people intrigued both by their introduction to Broome and the work that can be produced by their age group.
Fran Knight

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