Kick with My Left Foot
Allen & Unwin, 2014
hbk., 24pp., RRP $A19.99
I pull the sock on my left foot
I pull the sock on my right foot
I lace up the boot on my left foot
I lace up the boot on my right foot …
It’s time for footy!
This is a charming story of a little boy who loves his footy and can do everything well with his right and left hands, except for when it comes to kicking. When the tries to kick with his right foot, the results are less than great. But kicking with his left foot is a totally different matter! In a place where footy is an integral part of life, being able to kick well is an important skill and there is great excitement when his left foot kicking is the clincher.
Accompanied by illustrations that depict the emotions of both the boy and his dog perfectly, this story really appealed to the younger readers in my family who are struggling with left and right, as well as with throwing and kicking. In fact, Miss 3 and a half immediately went outside and practised with both feet to see which one worked best for her. Many times the results were those shown in the pictures but with practise she began to improve, and now has also sorted out that left/right confusion.
The book is one of the Emerging Indigenous Picture Book Mentoring Project a partnership between the Little Big Book Club and Allen & Unwin in which six previously unpublished Indigenous writers and illustrators will have their work showcased in four picture books during 2014. Each creator has been partnered with a renowned mentor in children’s publishing including Nadia Wheatley, Ken Searle, Nick Bland, Ann James, Bronwyn Bancroft, Boori Monty Pryor and Ali Cobby Eckermann to share ideas, techniques and inspiration for their first published work. The project has been funded by the federal government through the Australia Council and it means that not only will our cohort of children’s writers be enriched but our students will have access to authentic texts that will work towards the understanding and harmony between our cultures that is at the heart of so many of the Australian Curriculum outcomes. Even though it is written for an early childhood audience, there is a lot that offers scope for comparing and contrasting lifestyles and landscapes that would enable younger students to continue the development of their critical thinking skills. Even determining which code of football is being played requires observation and justification!