Review Blog

Nov 09 2012

Solid rock by Shane Howard

cover image

One Day Hill, 2012. ISBN 9780 9873139 1 1.
(Age: 8+) Picture book, Aboriginal themes
Vullah vunnah nah by Patricia Clarke
One Day Hill, 2012. ISBN 978 0 9873139 1 1. (Check ISBN
(Age: 8+) Picture book. Aboriginal themes. Both of these books are produced by One Day Hill, a publishing house set up rather like Magabala Books in Broome, to promote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander books,communities and authorship. One Day Hill aims specifically to preserve Australian culture which is threatened. Information about this company can be found at These books are distributed by Scholastic.
These two books are quite similar, therefore, one promoting a Gunditjmara lullaby in Vullah vunnah nah, and the other offering a story of Uluru in Solid rock, using language of the group who write and sang the stories. Both books then promote Aboriginal stories of the past and the language in which they would have first been heard and sung. As a consequence both books read like a text aimed at a classroom where Indigenous languages are being studied and I feel would not be often picked up by a student in a library. Each book has a CD accompanying the book, so this is another aspect of teaching to which this book could be put. Both books are boldly illustrated in the naive style seen now to be recognisably Indigenous.
The lullaby, Vullah vunnah nah(8 pages!) could be learnt in the classroom using the CD and would be a neat way to introduce language and compare it with lullabies learnt in the European tradition, while Solid rock could be used to show a different perspective of Aboriginal history in Australia's past, and presenting a point of view of some Aboriginal people today.
Fran Knight

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