Walking in Gagudju country by Diane Lucas, Ben Tyler and Emma Long

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There is so much of Australia's vast country that many of us may not get the opportunity to visit. However when books such as Walking in Gagudju Country: Exploring the Monsoon Forest are written and published, the traveller in each of us will be given an opportunity to explore and learn about these amazing places. This book is something very special. The story is set in the monsoon forests of Kakadu National Park and centres on the authors, Diane Lucas and Ben Tyler, taking a walk through this stunning environment. Along their journey they discover a myriad of land and water creatures, noises, micro-habitats and plants of all shapes and sizes.

This story is told through both words and pictures and the illustrations by Emma Long are really quite striking. The pages are full of vibrant colour in particular shades of rich greens with beautifully drawn creatures and plants. The story itself is very skilful in its presentation with the use of small images of the authors and the creatures who may be telling their story or asking a question. The use of the Kundjeyhmi language throughout gives importance of and recognition to the traditional owners of this special place. There is an excellent glossary with words in traditional language and English and small detailed images.

This is a beautiful book to share with both children and adults and would have a place in all library settings.

Themes: Nature, Kakadu National Park, Plants, Animals, Kundjeyhmi Culture & Language, Non Fiction Picture book.

Kathryn Beilby