A guide to children's literature including resources at the State Library and elsewhere
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this webpage contains images of deceased Indigenous Australians.
This page will help you to find children's books and eresources by or about:
Today the cultural diversity of Indigenous Australian communities enhances Australian children's literature, however racist misrepresentations of Aboriginality are common in earlier children's books
ATSIRLIRN (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Library and Information Resources Network) identifies protocols for libraries and archives handling Indigenous Australian material, appropriate ways of interaction with Indigenous Australians, and links to Indigenous publishing houses and mainstream publishers of Indigenous Australian content
The Indigenous Languages website is an initiative designed to give access to Indigenous Australian languages through digitised words lists, language records and other cultural documents beginning with material in the State Library of NSW collections
The section of this guide on literary criticism will help you to research books and articles about literary criticism and Aboriginality in children's literature.
Find fiction and non fiction children's books about Aboriginality through the Library catalogue:
In the large Search box enter the phrase "Aboriginal Australian*" (the symbol * is used to truncate words, so in this search you are combining the singular and plural of the word Australian)
You can refine your search results on the left hand side of your screen under Refine results. Results can be refined by selecting subjects, creation dates or genres listed on the left hand side of the screen.
The National Centre for Australian Children’s Literature (NCACL) hosts an online Resource that celebrates and promotes children’s books by and about Australia’s Aboriginal and or Torres Strait Islander Peoples, including books in Indigenous languages. The Resource provides information on books for children up to 12 years of age, including bibliographic details, subjects, age range, annotations highlighting content creators’ cultural background story location and/or community information language(s), curriculum links and teaching resources.
Dust echoes (2007) is a collection of 12 Indigenous traditional stories from the Wugularr community in Arnhem Land, narrated in English and interpreted as short animated movies for young people. Additional information is supplied including a synopsis, provenance and significance, study guides and classroom activities.
Some recent articles about the Indigenous voice in Australian children's literature include the following in full text:
'Black words' in Island, no. 137, 2014
'Preserving languages in the new millennium: Indigenous bilingual children's books' by Hadaway and Young, in Childhood Education, vol. 90(5), 2014
'Red, yellow, and black: Australian Indigenous publishing for young people' by Robyn Sheahan-Bright in Bookbird, vol. 49(3), 2011.
'Politics of Indigeneity in Fogarty's poetry (Lionel Fogarty), by Sean Gorman, in CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture, vol. 13(2), 2011
'Aboriginal Australian and Canadian First nations children's literature' by Angeline O'Neill, in CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture, vol. 13(2), 2011
'My favourite book!: Young Aboriginal children's book choices', in Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, vol. 36(1), 2011
'The Legends of Moonie Jarl: Our first Indigenous children's book' by Juliet O'Conor, in The La Trobe Journal, no. 79(16), 2007
'Are you talking to me? Hailing the reader in Indigenous children's literature' by Penelope Davie, in Papers: Explorations into Children's Literature, vol. 16(2), 2006
'Walking with Indigenous authors' by Michael Rose, in Bookseller and Publisher Magazine, vol. 85(9), 2006
'Spreading seeds of culture [Magabala Books, the Broome-based publishing company], by Michele Gierck, in Eureka Street, vol. 16(1), 2006
'Cultural explorations of time and space: Indigenous Australian artists in residence, conventional narratives and children's text creation', by Margaret Zeegers, in Papers: Explorations into Children's Literature, vol. 16(2), 2006
'Postcolonial transformation and traditional Australian Indigenous story', by Juliet O'Conor, in Papers: Explorations into Children's Literature, vol. 16(2), 2006
The Children's Literature Digital Resources project initiated by Queensland University of Technology has over 500 primary and secondary resources fully digitised on the AustLit database. Click here to find representations of Aboriginal Australians in a selection of CLDR texts
Collection of six papers by academics, authors and critics 'The Aboriginal motif in children's literature' in Proceedings of a national seminar held at the University of Tasmania, Hobart 25-27 September, 1981
PhD thesis (2002) that explores the construction of Aboriginal childhood in children's fiction 'Black face white story: the construction of Aboriginal childhood by non-Aboriginal writers in Australian children's fiction 1841-1998' by J Thistleton-Martin
Detailed analysis of the editing process for the 1972 edition of Oodgeroo Noonuccal's Stradbroke Dreamtime 'Deemed unsuitable for children: the editing of Oodgeroo's Stradbroke Dreamtime' by Jennifer Jones in Papers: Explorations into children's literature, Vol. 14(1) pp. 5-14, 2004
Article discussing how fairy tales may be reconciled with the Australian landscape 'Australia's fairy tales illustrated in print instances of indigeneity, colonization, and suburbanization' by Rebecca-Anne Do Rozario in Marvels & Tales, Vol. 25(1), pp. 12-32, 2011
Additional websites on Aboriginality include: