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

Wednesday 7 August 2019

Review: Wilam — A Birrarung Story

The Yarra River, or Birrarung, holds a special place in many Australian hearts and we're pretty sure this book will too.

Wurundjeri Elder Aunty Joy Murphy and illustrator Lisa Kennedy, a Trawlwoolway descendant, collaborated on the cherished and highly lauded picture book Welcome to Country. Here, they join forces with author and Yarra Riverkeeper Andrew Kelly.

The result is Wilam, which means 'home' in the Indigenous Woiwurrung language. Wilam takes us on a journey along the banks of the Birrarung, from the river's source in the mountains, all the way to the sea. It introduces us to the diverse wildlife that calls the river home, and often lives alongside people as the river winds through the suburbs and city of Melbourne.

This is a book to treasure, from the stunning cover that emanates the fresh river air and teeming flora and fauna, to the glossary of Woiwurrung words, which have been integrated into the English text.

The language is poetic and beautiful, while each double-page spread is a breathtaking work of art as Lisa Kennedy's rich and vibrant strokes breathe the life and colour of the river onto the pages.

Wilam will hopefully find a home in every classroom and family as a wonderful celebration that weaves together flora and fauna with people, water and land, and past and present.

Title: Wilam — A Birrarung Story
Authors: Aunty Joy Murphy and Andrew Kelly
Illustrator: Lisa Kennedy
Publisher: Black Dog Books, $24.00
Publication Date: April 2019
Format: Hard Cover
ISBN: 9781925381764
For ages: 4+
Type: Picture Book