Children’s Book Review: Review: Our Dreams

Goodjagah, little one, walk with me… I want to tell you about our Dream as the Elders told me. Award-winning storytellers, the woman Gunai Kirli Saunders and the man Bigambul Dub Leffler, explore a deep love and respect for Country and all of her spirits…past, present and beyond.

This is a truly beautiful book which was very well received by the Year 3 class with whom I shared it. We all loved the text, which has the effect of being both calming and gentle, and the children loved guessing the meaning of the words in the language used throughout.

Kirli’s lyrical and poetic words are magnificently combined with Dub’s visually eloquent illustrations. We were all fascinated by our close examination of them, and the subdued color palette chosen not only evokes the colors of the bush, but added to the sense of calm that our reading evoked.

The mother and puggle echidna roam the pages as the narrator explains the meaning, depth, and wisdom of the chosen Dream. Many will think that there is only one Dream in First Nations culture, not realizing that for each nation or language group there will be similarities and differences between the traditional stories.

However, one thing in common is the overriding importance of love and respect for country. This is a concept that all Australians should be aware of, and indeed more and more non-Indigenous citizens are beginning to deepen their connection to the land.

It is without a doubt one of the most moving picture books I have seen this year and certainly one that is valuable to our exchange of cross-cultural perspectives. I highly recommend it for your readers from Prep through Upper Elementary, where it will do much to promote understanding and respect.

Title: our dream
Author: kirli saunders

Illustrated by: Bend Leffler

Editor: Scholastic Australia, $24.99
Publication date: August 2022
Format: Hard-cover
ISBN: 9781742995113
By ages: 4+
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