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

Wednesday 24 August 2011

Review: Our World

When I first picked up this book, I was utterly entranced. From the striking front cover to the lustrous and colourful contents, I just smiled and smiled and smiled and smiled.

This amazing book has been written and illustrated by the children and teachers of the One Arm Point Remote Community School at Ardiyooloon on the Dampier Peninsular, 200km borth of Broome.

This remote indigenous community is home to the Bardi Jaawi people and is surrounded on three sides by saltwater - an element that plays an integral part in the people’s lives.

In Our World, readers are taken on an entrancing journey to another world, quite far removed from the life the majority of Australians experience.

Opening with a map showing exactly where Ardiyooloon is located (it's remote!) readers quickly learn how to pronounce local words with a pronunciation guide. We're then introduced to the local people, a little bit of history and the way in which the locals hunt for food in the rich sea bounty found on the cusp of the Indian Ocean and Timor Sea.

We also learn how to dress a snake bite, how to make an earth oven, make a bough shelter and cook stuffed fish. We learn all about the Bardi Jaawi seasons, 10 ways to catch a monkey fish, and meet a shoal of saltwater creatures, complete with the children's illustrations.

Our World is essentially a showcase of the life of this beautiful, almost-foreign world... from traditional stories to history, geography, genealogy, recipes and how-tos. Dotted with colourful and absolutely charming illustrations and photographs, this is a heartfelt, beautiful and utterly fascinating book that will enrich any community in the world - remote or not.

Teacher/librarians will adore this book - it's like opening an indigenous treasure chest of delight.

Title: Our World: Bardi Jaawi: Our Life at Ardiyooloon
Author/Illustrators: One Arm Point Remote Community School
Publisher: Magabala Books, $29.95 RRP
Publication Date: 1 October 2010
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781921248238
For ages: 7+
Type: Information Book