The day she stole the sun by the students at Cobargo Public School

Written by the 5/6 class of Cobargo Public School, this heartfelt picture book was written to help the school community heal and unite all of those who lost farms, friends and family during the devastating fires of 2019.

Ganyi – the indigenous word for fire starts this story and throughout the narrative weaves her way in and out of the pages as we watch a normal summers day turn black within minutes. You can hear the children’s emotions through the story as we hear of Ganyi wrestling with Mother Nature but Mother Nature being overcome with her determination .

The images created by the children show loss. They show devastation. The layout of the words speaks more than the story on some pages and symbolism allows readers to take the time to feel what those people of those areas must have and probably still feel.

From December ’19 to March ’20 this story is told – from the green of before fire to the green breaking through the blackened stumps. Through collage and drawings to paintings and photography, we see and feel the hot air, the loss of loved ones, the admiration for those who helped and the smoke that got in everything.

The day she stole the sun is not only a book that has helped heal the community of Cobargo, it is a book that will help other children to understand what happened during the bushfires of 2019-2020 not just for the smoke that many of us lived through but the emotional scarring those who lived through the bushfires have.

The use of local indigenous language – Gunyi throughout the story highlights a link the children of Cobargo have with their Indigenous culture. The more we understand and integrate their culture, the better we will all be for it.

Written through little scribe, I imagine this would have been an excellent skill building, confidence boosting and emotional journey.

This is an excellent book for use in any classroom Stages 1-6

Literacy – creating stories using images & words, layout and colours to evoke emotion

Sustainability – how bushfires can be prevented

Geography – Bushfires & how they occur, movement and landscapes of Australia

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