An Aboriginal ceremony of Welcome to Country is depicted for the first time in a stunning picture book from two Indigenous Australians.
Welcome to the lands of the Wurundjeri people. The people are part of the land, and the land is a part of them. Aboriginal communities across Australia have boundaries that are defined by mountain ranges and waterways. Traditionally, to cross these boundaries, permission is required. Each community has its own way of greeting, but the practice shares a common name: a Welcome to Country. Aunty Joy Murphy Wandin, the senior Aboriginal elder of the Wurundjeri people, channels her passion for storytelling into a remarkable and utterly unique picture book that invites readers to discover some of the history and traditions of her people. Indigenous artist Lisa Kennedy gives the Wurundjeri Welcome to Country form in beautiful paintings rich with blues and browns, as full of wonder and history as the tradition they depict.
About the Author
Joy Murphy Wandin is a storyteller and writer who is passionate about using stories to bring people together and as a conduit for understanding aboriginal culture. She is an Officer of the Order of Australia. Welcome to Country is her first book. Aunty Joy lives in Victoria, Australia.
Lisa Kennedy is a descendant of the Trawlwoolway people on the coast of Tasmania. Her work is marked by her experiences of both cultural and natural loss and reclamation. She lives in Victoria, Australia.
Kids may pick up Welcome to Country: A Traditional Aboriginal Ceremony expecting something less abstract, but they won't be disappointed. Murphy's book-length meditation invoking Wurundjeri customs and values is beguiling, and Lisa Kennedy's acrylic paintings—some so multilayered that they could pass for embroidered tapestries—are dazzlers...While Welcome to Country uses the distinctive voice of the Wurundjeri of Australia, it speaks to everyone.
—Shelf Awareness for Readers
Richly pigmented illustrations in a traditional style depict the close connection between people, animals, land, and elements. There is a formality in the tone of the text that some readers might find unusual but not unfriendly. This unique picture book lends itself easily to social studies curricula, but its poetic qualities should not be overlooked.