Review Blog

Sep 02 2020

Aunty's wedding by Miranda Tapsell and Joshua Tyler

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Illus. by Samantha Fry. Allen & Unwin, 2020. ISBN: 9781760524838.
(Age: 3+) Highly recommended. The joy of an approaching wedding is shown through the growing excitement of the narrator as she asks questions about what they are all wearing to the event.
Why does Grandma wear a hat? Can she wear flowers? What about her brother? What is Grandma practising with her hands? Each question delivers a response telling the reader a little more of the culture of the Tiwi Islands, north of Darwin. The names of many of the family as well as the flowers for her hair, the bangles and flowers worn by the bride are given in language, adding another level of interest and involvement for the readers.
When the people move to the church where the ceremony is to be held, the biggest question is asked, why do people have a wedding.
Grandma's answer reveals the closeness of family in the islands, where love, culture and family are entwined, but above all love is most treasured dance of all.
Supported with wonderfully bright, vivacious illustrations, full of movement and verve, the story of the lead up to aunty's wedding will be read and read again as the children learn more about Tiwi culture from the text and illustrations. The digital illustrations use the designs of Tiwi Designs, creating an almost collage effect on some pages which depict women's clothing.
Miranda Tapsell's background shines through, her Larrakia heritage supporting all she does, whether co writing Top End Wedding with Joshua Tyler, acting in the successful film, or writing children's books. Joshua Tyler, an writer and actor for film and television brings his considerable talent to this undertaking and the whole is wonderfully supported with Samantha Fry's illustrations, reflecting her indigenous heritage, descended from Dagoman people from around Katherine. I eagerly anticipate more from this talented trio. Teacher's tips and downloadable activities are available from the publisher.
Theme: Aboriginal themes, Northern Territory, Tiwi islands, Weddings.
Fran Knight

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