Children’s stories told and/or illustrated by Aboriginal people have been receiving serious attention for several decades now. It’s a different world from that of early pioneers like Australian Dick Roughsey, of Mornington Island in Queensland. I’ve posted previously about illustrator Bronwyn Bancroft and Magabala Books in western Australia. To delve deeper, this article about the history of aboriginal children’s literature illustrators features work by another early favorite, Pat Torres.
Magabala publishes a list of Australian and New Zealand children’s books by and about Aboriginals. AustralEd also has a list of books about Australian indigenous peoples, many by Aboriginal writers. Indij Readers publishes school reading materials by Aboriginal people that provide “diversity of Aboriginal identity, voice, and representation.” Here’s an introduction to their work.
In Canada, Pemmican publishes children’s books by and about the Metis aboriginal people. The Penumbra Press, a small fine-art and literary publishing house, offers many books for children based on Northern and Native literatures. And the Our Story website publishes stories by young winners of the Canadian Aboriginal Writing Challenge.
Unsympathetic governments worldwide, east and west, make it difficult for the stories and traditions of native peoples to be passed on to subsequent generations. It is gratifying to salute the great work of organizations, writers and illustrators who bring these treasures to all of us.