Review Blog

Mar 06 2020

Brother moon by Maree McCarthy Yoelu

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Illus. by Samantha Fry. Magabala Books, 2020. ISBN: 9781925936827. hbk., 32pp.
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. This homage to the moon and all of its forms throughout the month, is told by an older man telling his great grandson of the environment in which they live. The story teaches the boy not to be frightened of the night as the moon shines enough light for him to see. Through his story he tells the boy how the moon is connected to country, the land of his birth.
It is a powerful and enthralling story of connection, of what the environment brings to the people, of how the moon's phases direct the people to the best times to hunt and fish.
Maree is a Wadjigany woman from the Daly Rover region of the Northern Territory, and the narrator of her story is her grandfather, Limam (Harry Morgan) a well respected elder statesman within his people, a storyteller and leader of his community. His story of the importance of the environment will resonate with younger people, alerted to the ravages our environment is subjected to each year. They will absorb the underlying themes of caring about and for the environment and in particular, look at the moon in all of its variety.
Liman tells his great grandson that he never fears the night as his brother is always there to guide him. When he looks in the mangroves for periwinkles the light of the moon is reflected in the crocodile eyes, warning him of danger, and even when the light is only half what it was, it is enough to see a snake.
Samantha Fry, descended from the Dagiman people of Katherine in the Northern Territory uses her skills with coloured pencils to create a book of night time images, where, despite the hour, detail can be seen using the light of the moon. Readers will love finding treasure hidden on each page and marvel at the phases of the moon overhead, learning as does the boy, not to fear the night but use the moon's light to see. Themes: Environment, Aboriginal themes, Aboriginal storytelling, Moon, Connection.
Fran Knight

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