Nedingar: Ancestors by Isobel Bevis. Illus. by Leanne Zilm

cover image

Noongar storytellers Isobel and Leanne have drawn on their love of country and knowledge of its stories to present this inviting, wonderful read aloud tale of ancestors.

A child tells her mother that she wants to meet her ancestors. She has heard of them, listened to people talking about them, and now wants to meet them. She wants to tlak to them and listen to what they know, so helping her know who she is.

Mother tells her that she meets them everyday, she listens to them, sees them all around, she knows them through smells and talks to them.

They can be heard when the wind whistles through the tree, they can be talked to when she listen to the birds and animals and plants, they can be felt through every step she makes on Country. The Ancestors are well known and are strong reflected through mother and child.

The theme of this story introduces Country to us all, how  people view their Ancestors, how Country informs all they need to know. Ancestors are all around, offering their insights to the younger generation. All they need do is look, listen, interact, smell and touch.

The illustrations impel readers to look closely at the flora and fauna of the countryside, as the distinctive acrylic images cover each page with clear links to Noongar Country in the south west of Western Australia. Readers will love spotting the animals and grasses and flowers shown in the pages, and I loved checking out the name of the different eucalypts shown with their wonderfully coloured  flowers. Western Australia’s glory is shown in all of its vibrancy and Leanne has the ability to put on the page what she sees around her home.

Themes: Aboriginal themes, Ancestors, Landscape, Western Australia.

Fran Knight