Walking the rock country in Kakadu: Karrire kundenge karribolknan kunwarddehwardde by Diane Lucas, Ben Tyler and Emma Long

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In 2021, authors Diane Lucas and Ben Tyler along with illustrator Emma Long, combined their creative talents and produced the 2022 CBCA Eve Pownall Shortlisted book Walking in Gagudju Country: Exploring the Monsoon Forest. They have now written a second book in the same style and format, Walking the Rock Country in Kakadu: Karrire kundenge karribolknan kunwarddehwardde, that will once again engage the reader from cover to cover.

The vibrant glossy front cover depicting the rock country and the detailed endpapers showing aspects and creatures of the eco system are visually stunning. Throughout the book, the reader is drawn to the striking full page illustrations, and the text that cleverly uses Kundjeyhmi language translated by smaller images to add visual interest and learning to the story.

Walking the Rock Country in Kakadu is set in the early dry season and the group is setting off to walk through the rock country which is in the Arnhem Land plateau that extends into Kakudu National Park.

‘Karrire kundenge karribolknan kunwarddehwardde: Lets walk, lets look at the rock country.’

Along the way they explore many different habitats and meet all kinds of animals of the land, air and water. The children learn to listen to the adults as they share stories about Country, the use of fire and when it is the right time to burn. They learn about survival and safety, and the danger and damage caused by cane toads and European bees.

This is an astonishing read, the second in a series of three with the final book focusing on the floodplains.  Alongside its beautiful illustrations there is so much learning to be gained and First Nations knowledge to be shared. A comprehensive glossary using words and images is at the back of the book and in the front introductory page is a QR code to listen to the story being read by the authors.

A fabulous resource for home, school or public library.

Themes: Arnhem Land Plateau, Kakadu National Park, Nature, Plants, Animals, Kundjeyhmi Culture & Language, First Nations.

Kathryn Beilby

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