Review: Somebody’s Land

For thousands and thousands of years, Aboriginal people lived in the land we now call Australia.

Somebody’s Land: Welcome to Our Country, is the first of a five-book series that intends to be a resource to draw on to educate children about the traditional owners of our land, the First Nations people, and their Indigenous culture.

Powerful and direct, the text is by the high profile Adam Goodes, Australian of the Year 2014, in collaboration with Ellie Laing.

The exceptional illustrations in glorious full-page colour by David Hardy, ensure the words come to life within his visual narrative. End pages are decorated in Australia’s native animals.

All three creators invite readers to walk with them through the past, the truth about the history of Australia, and the real owners of the land.

The art work displays the lives of the First Nations and their respect for, and relationship to, the Land. It returns to the beginning when the white people came and called the land Terra Nullius – nobody’s land. But it was somebody’s land.

These words are repeated on every double spread throughout the book, sharing one side with descriptions and images of how Aboriginal people sourced food, read tracks in the dirt, used plants for medicinal purposes, took only what they needed and shared everything.

They danced in memory of their ancestors, painted stories on cave walls, and decorated their face and bodies with meaningful strokes that spoke of their culture.

This is a book of hope for the building of bridges from the past to the present. It is children who will benefit from this construction; therefore, it is the role of adults, parents, teachers and carers to educate about Voice, Treaty and Truth.

Adam Goodes has put his heart and soul into this project. Together with his cousin Michael O’Loughlin, they founded the GO Foundation which supports and inspires the next generation of First Nations leaders.

Title: Somebody’s Land
Author: Adam Goodes & Ellie Laing
Illustrator: David Hardy
Publisher: Allen & Unwin, $24.99
Publication Date: 2 November 2021
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781760562726
For ages: 4+
Type: Picture Book

November 2, 2021 at 02:05AM Anastasia Gonis