Counting our country by Jill Daniels is a bilingual counting book that all young children will enjoy.
Written in English and the Ritharrnu language from South Eastern Arnhem land, Counting our country introduces children to this indigenous language along with the art style from this country.
Children will meet different animals who inhabit the land from goannas to turtles to buffaloes and sharks!
Each page lists the English word for the number of animals, drawings of the animals as well as the Ritharrnu word.
The colours are diverse and eye catching, using traditional methods, children will see the animals and the important role they play in SE Arnhem Land.
For readers who are unsure of how to pronounce the word, a guide on how to pronouce the different sounds is at the back of the book along with the names for the animals in Ritharrnu.
Magabala books produce wonderful books that not only connect indigenous communities to western style books, they also help children and adults who do not live in indigenous communities to be exposed to the language, the life and the art.
Jill Daniels has some vibrant artwork and it can be seen here: https://ngukurrarts.com/artist/jill-daniels/
So what else can be done with this book?
What other languages do you know or students in your class know? Create another book in this style with the indigenous language and native flora and fauna from your area.
What is the point of art in picture books? Why do we need animals from that region in this counting book? Explore the art of Jill Daniels and any artists from your local area to see the difference in art techniques across Australia.