Tell 'em!, by Katrina Germein & Rosemary Sullivan, with the children of Manyallaluk School.
Updated: Oct 6, 2020
Illustrated by Karen Briggs
This delightful picture book gives voice to kids living in a remote community in the Roper River region of the Northern Territory. The children joyfully share stories about the activities they enjoy, many of which young children reading this book will relate to – such as riding bikes, dancing, and fishing. We hear about other activities too, that may be less familiar - such as lighting fires to clean up country, hunting bush turkey, and coming face to face with a freshwater crocodile!
This book is a celebration of storytelling, and of life in a remote community. The children of Manyallaluk School urge us to listen through the exuberance of their storytelling, and their voices invite us to pay close attention, and to linger over the brightly coloured illustrations.
The joyful illustrations are full of movement and perfectly complement the text, with the earthy brown and red tones highlighting the importance of connection to the land. Young readers will delight in the vibrant colours of the children’s clothes, the blue-streaked sky, and the cheer the children emanate as they tumble and dance through the pages. A child’s love of play, dance and movement, is universal.
It is important that all children have a chance to see themselves reflected in some way in the books they are reading – and books like this provide children who live in remote communities a story they can recognise and relate to. Such books also help foster connection to culture and engagement with literacy.
Tell 'em! provides, for all of us, a window into life in a remote community. This is, of course, the magic of story - the power it has to transport us to new places and experiences, without us having to even leave home.
This book would be a valuable addition to a home, school or classroom library, to initiate discussion about remote communities and culture, and ways of telling story.
Make sure to sing out and tell everybody you know about this beautiful picture book - just tell’ em!
This book is published by Harper Collins Australia (Working Title Press AU)