'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Thursday 4 March 2010

Review: Look See, Look at Me!

Title: Look see, look at me!

Author: Leonie Norrington

Illustrator: Dee Huxley

Publisher: Allen & Unwin, A$24.99RRP

Format: Hard cover

ISBN: 9781741758832

Type: Picture Book

For ages: 0-4

About: So glorious to see a lustrous picture book for very young children centered in a vibrant Aboriginal community – so full of life and movement; it was a pleasure to read this book, despite the fact that I missed its target market by two score and two. Doesn’t matter. I was once three, and this book brings it all gurgling back.

Aimed at very young children, author Norrington’s latest book is a rhyming lollop through the expansive, full range of movement enjoyed by the very young – running, jumping, swimming, bumping – we follow a gorgeous little Aboriginal boy as he bounds around his community, from mum’s hip to the tippity-top of a tree, with family members flailing in panic underneath, ready to catch!

Huxley’s beautiful, fluid illustrations embrace the full and vibrant movement of young children – pictures that have created a seamless marriage between word and picture. But the soul of this book surely lies in the collaboration of author and illustrator with the women of the Barunga, Wugularr and Manyalalluk communities of Arnhem Land. The emotional contribution behind the visuals and words in this book is palpable.

Norrington, who is a ceaseless advocate of indigenous literacy, writes books that centre on an indigenous hero. The author believes that the only way indigenous people can truly experience the joy of reading is if stories feed their own culture, experiences and beliefs.

She certainly achieves this goal in Look See, Look at Me – and more. The little three-year-old ‘hero’ of this book is a joy to trail and whirl and flop with, as the reader takes in the beauty and uniqueness of Aboriginal culture, but also shares the purity of thought and simple desire of small children.

A priceless (and pride-inducing) read for indigenous people, yes – but an enormous treat for any culture, especially the culture of youth.

Author website
Illustrator website

This book is available online