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Our Top Books About Water that embed an Aboriginal Perspective

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Our Top Books About Water that embed an Aboriginal Perspective

Water is common topic of enquiry in the Australian context. Whether your children are learning about water ways, ecosystems, seasons or the weather there are many ways that one can include an Aboriginal perspective with water.


Big Rain Coming

Big Fella Rain is a celebration of northern Australia as animals, birds, trees and a parched earth await the first rain.
It is almost as if the country stands still as the sparse yet evocative text pays homage to the transition from dry season to wet season in a country that is like no other place in the world.

Fern Martins illustrations seamlessly portray the dramatic skies, the thirsty animals and tiny creatures whose very existence rely on the monsoonal changes. Her exquisite rendering of the big landscape against the subtle shifts in the environment have a timeless quality that will capture the hearts of all readers.


The Mark of Wagarl

Maadjit Walken is the Sacred Rainbow Serpent. She is the mother spirit and creator of Nyoongar Country in the south-west of Western Australia. She formed the landscape and the waterways and made her first child Maadjit Wagarl, the Sacred Water Snake, the guardian spirit of all the rivers and freshwaters. The Mark of the Wagarl is the story of how a little boy dared to question the wisdom of his elders and why he received the Sacred Water Snake for his totem. Janice Lyndon’s pastel illustrations resonate with the cultural power of the Maadjit Wagarl and the landscape of the south-west.


Wilam: A Birrarung Story

In this stunning picture book beautifully given form by Indigenous artist Lisa Kennedy, respected Elder Aunty Joy Murphy and Yarra Riverkeeper Andrew Kelly tell the story of one day in the life of the vital, flourishing Birrarung (Yarra river).

As ngua rises, Bunjil soars over mountain ash, flying higher and higher as the wind warms. Below, Birrarung begins its long winding path down to palem warreen. Wilam – home.

Yarra Riverkeeper Andrew Kelly joins award-winning picture book duo Aunty Joy Murphy and Lisa Kennedy to tell the Indigenous and geographical story of Melbourne’s beautiful Yarra river, from its source to its mouth; from its pre-history to the present day.

  • An ode to Australian rivers, the flora and fauna that live on them, and the function they perform as a part of modern day life.
  • Wilam brings Aboriginal life, culture and language right in to the heart of the city.
  • From an award-winning team of the bestselling Welcome to Country, and Yarra Riverkeeper and award-winning author Andrew Kelly.

Splosh for the Billabong

A lyrical book which revels in all things swirly and squelchy, and explores northern Australian animals and landscapes as well as indigenous art.

Splosh for the billabong at shady bend of river. Brush for the flowers that burst in summer heat.

A glorious celebration of country, animals and painting, illustrated by Balarinji, Australia's leading Indigenous design studio.


The Little Corroboree Frog

The Little Corroborree Frog is a wonderful children’s story that gently introduces the serious plight of one of Australia’s most endangered species. Jet the corroboree frog is happily taking care of the tadpole ponds when the water starts to dry up and his family’s eggs are threatened. He goes to visit Grandmother Frog to find out why and she tells him all about the summers that are getting hotter every year and the careless humans who are leaving their rubbish around.

When a boy and his father arrive to go fishing in the nearby river, Jet seizes the opportunity to show them how humans are threatening the very existence of his species.


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