Going bush with Grandpa by Sally Morgan and Ezekiel Kwaymullina

cover image

Ill. by Craig Smith. Omnibus, 2014. ISBN 9781742990262.
(Age: 6+) Highly recommended. Aboriginal themes. Gold prospecting. Family. When Pete is asked by his Grandpa to go bush in search of gold, he jumps at the chance. He helps load up the four wheel drive with all their gear, food, swags, metal detector and of course, Ace the dog. At night, camped at Grandpa's favourite place and eating under the stars, they tell each other stories, Grandpa telling the boy about corroborees and his fine dancing technique. They go to sleep, one dreaming of dancing, the other of finding gold. The first two days prove unsuccessful, the pair only finding a metal can, some nails and a horse brass, but on the last day when the camp is packed up, they go out one more time and find a large nugget and two smaller ones. Their few days away are successful.
This is an endearing story of an older man and his grandson, going out into the bush, being together telling stories, the older man passing on stories of his youth, tales of the bush, wisdom from his experience with the environment and its conservation. Sally Morgan and Ezekiel Kwaymullina's subtle way of telling a tale means that the reader is unaware that they too are learning something new, skills which may help them when out in the bush.
Craig Smith's illustrations are just wonderful, adding a level of humour which readers will love, as they pick out things they recognise as the two camp in the bush.
With larger print and each page having illustrations, this is a perfect early chapter book for younger readers, and a second by the trio, One Rule, is due out shortly.
Fran Knight