Review Blog

Jun 12 2014

The lost girl by Ambelin Kwaymullina and Leanne Tobin

cover image

Walker Books, 2014. ISBN 9781921529634.
(Age: 7+) Warmly recommended. Aboriginal themes. Family. Environment. This beautifully produced hard cover book has a front cover which will draw in the reader, seeing a child walking across a desert landscape all alone, leaving only her footprints, her long shadow stretched out behind. Readers will immediately want to know what happens.
The girl has lost sight of her family. She calls and no one answers, she eats food from the trees, drinks water from the creek and huddles under a rock ledge where the sun's rays have been trapped. A crow calls out and she follows it finding her way back home to the warmth and safety of her family.
They ask her what happened and she explains that it was her mother Earth who protected her, fed her, gave her water to drink, kept her warm, and finally led her home.
The book not only shows an Aboriginal community and their activities, but also the environment where they live, the flora and fauna, the plants and animals, the broad scope of the desert, the mountains and valleys. It reflects behaviour that people must show in the bush, finding things to keep them alive, trusting their surroundings to keep them safe, while waiting to be found. The relationship between family members is also shown in talking of the range of people involved, and all would be a great starting point for classes looking at the themes of family, particularly Aboriginal families, or the Australian environment.
Fran Knight

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