An Important Message From Mr Beaky
Cassie Leatham & Sue Lawson
Wild Dog Books, 2022
32pp., hbk., RRP $A24.99
Meet Mr Beaky, the budgerigar from the Taungurung Country, part of the Kulin Nation in Victoria. He has an important message about what it means to be an Aboriginal person in Australia. Mr Beaky is blue and white, not green and yellow, but he is still a native bird, just as Aboriginal people are still Aboriginal regardless of their colouring because it is in their murrup, or soul and spirit.
In this new picture book co-written in both the author’s indigenous language and English, Cassie Leatham, herself an Indigenous artist, master weaver, traditional dancer, bushtukka woman and educator, uses Mr Beaky to tell young readers of the importance of being Aboriginal, honouring that culture, belonging to and respecting Country. Accompanied by striking illustrations, this is another in the ever-growing collection of books for young people that is now available to help them understand and appreciate the special connection that our First Nations people have to their heritage and Country so that when they hear a Welcome to Country and an Acknowledgement of Country, they know that they are so much more than just ritualistic words.