Shallow in the deep end by Tiwi College Alalinguwi Jarrakarlinga with Jared Thomas
Omnibus Books, 2017. ISBN 9781742762692
(Age: 7-10) Recommended. This book has been written by joint authors, a group of women from Tiwi College Alalinguwi Jarrakarlinga with assistance from Jared Thomas and with the support of Indigenous Literacy Foundation.
Shallow is a baby water buffalo and was given to Erica by her park ranger father after she asked for a dog. Shallow befriends Bruno a young dog Erica is looking after for a friend. The animals' adventures are humorous and beyond the experiences of many mainland children. Shallow and Bruno paddle in a plastic wading pool, they frighten a group of elderly card playing women and become involved in the local football match. The chapter about the school trampoline is especially funny. Imagine a water buffalo and a dog enjoying back flips! These chapters would make great read aloud stories in the classroom.
Each chapter provides an insight into living in Erica's home and country i.e. eating turtle soup as well as the more everyday fair of cupcakes.
The book has simple line drawings provided by the authors. These are unpretentious but highly effective. The cover is brightly coloured and appealing with the curvaceous baby Shallow a strong feature.
Jared Thomas has commented that the girls 'provided readers with the joy, connection and youth of the Tiwi people, country and culture'. These stories are a delightful insight to life on the Tiwi Islands. This is the third book the group have written.
The text and illustrations will appeal to students aged 7 to 10 years old. I recommend this book to primary schools.