Backyard footy by Carl Merrison. Illus. by Samantha Campbell

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Backyard Footy is a vibrant, fast-paced picture book, set in the Kimberley region of Australia and tells of a number of First Nations children joining in a game of backyard footy. Beginning with Jy playing football on his own, the story explores what happens as more children join in the game as the football is kicked over fence after fence. Sometimes the football is not always kicked true and straight and ends up disrupting other family members! Jy’s footy is finally popped when it lands in a fire but fortunately Shane has a new one, so they all go to the oval together and Jy lines up and kicks a goal. The children discover that while footy is fun on your own it is much better playing together.

This is an entertaining and fun read by author Carl Merrison and is the first in a sporty series titled Backyard Sports. This story moves along with the highlighted key words adding more drama to the story. The bright and bold illustrations perfectly complement the text, and the reader can feel the action and enjoyment of the children. A very enjoyable read.

Themes Aussie Rules Football, First Nations, Kimberley Region, Friends, Family.

Kathryn Beilby