Walking in Gagudju Country – Exploring the Monsoon Forest
by Diane Lucas, Ben Tyler and Emma Long
Format: Hard Cover
Join Ben and Diane for a walk through Gagudju country.
As they walk, with their children, in the monsoon forest they share stories about the land and relate stories elders have passed to them.
Ben is a local Gagudju person of Kakadu, the land they walk.
Emma embellishes this story with her wonderful paintings.
The writing of this book came from a walk together and the sharing of stories both Ben and I have in our learnings and memories. As we walked with a friend in a monsoon forest we recalled stories and experiences relating to trees and animals, birds, insects, hunting and gathering, stories from the elders of past times and some dreaming stories. This intrigued our friend and so we wrote the story. My children have walked with me and Aboriginal elders, many whom have passed away now, but they have learned and retained stories of the land from walking with these elders. Ben has lived on his country and experienced the storytelling from elders. Together Ben and I have walked the land and shared ideas and stories for many years. We met Emma, who also lives in the NT and is inspired by the natural world. She shares her love of the natural world while walking with her children and paints her observations into beautiful illustrations. Together we bring this collaborative story to you.
“Combining their expertise in and passion for botanical work, wild landscapes and the culture of the Top End bush, authors Diane Lucas and Ben Tyler join with illustrator Emma Long to share this luscious book about one of Australia’s most beautiful ecosystems. Walking in Gagudju Country: Exploring the monsoon forest is dedicated to the Elders and the people of the Gagudju (or Kakadu) area, the nonfiction narrative encompassing a walk in the unique ecosystem of the monsoon forest in the Northern Territory’s Kakadu National Park. The book is narrated through dialogue paired with illustrated avatars of the authors, the text inclusive of the Kundjeyhmi language of the Bininj people. Long’s detailed line and watercolour double-page spreads magnificently portray vast landscapes as backdrops to magnified close-ups of many species, such as kabo (green ants), midjakkur (monsoon forest vine), merle-merle (butterflies) and more. Pops of red and blue add warmth to the vibrant shades of green and brown, the spreads teeming with movement, while highlighted terms in the text provide prominence and clarity. This information-laden book, complete with glossary, brims with life, beauty and magic. It is a delightful read for primary school children, introducing the Gagudju bush and underscoring the importance of respecting and advocating for the environment.” – Romi Sharp, picture book writer and digital marketer for children’s authors and publishers.