Playground | Nadia Wheatley

As Aboriginal people, if we lose our culture, we lose who we are and where we come from, and that’s what we, as a community, don’t want to happen“.

Compiled by Nadia Wheatley, Playground: Listening to stories from country and from inside the heart is a non-fiction title nominated for the Eve Pownall Award for Best Information Book. It is written for an older primary school audience. There is a lot of information and text interspersed with photographs, maps and artwork.

This will become another favourite of school librarians everywhere.

The information was packed densely onto each page but I managed to garner fascinating nuggets from each section. I liked how it was set out from creation, birth, childhood etc through to death. Detailing rituals, beliefs and day to day routines.

I found it difficult to work out who were the authors within the various sections of the book and which bits were written by Nadia Wheatley (if any).

Playground is a worthy nominee and it fulfills it’s cover declaration of “listening to stories from country and from the heart.”

With stunning photographs and illustrations, this book is a fascinating insight, from earliest times to today, into the experiences of Indigenous children, whose land was, and is, their playground

There are things which Indigenous children have been doing for thousands upon thousands of years. In traditional times, kids didn’t have to go to school. The land was their school, and their playground. Since European people have come to Australia, Aboriginal children have taken on some new games and toys, but they have continued to practice their culture. Whether they live on a remote outstation or in a busy city, Indigenous kids are still learning from country, and from their community.

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