Wilam: A Birrarung Story

Walker Books Australia
ISBN: 9781925381764
The Eve Pownall Award for Information Books 2020 Notable
Wilam, meaning ‘home’ tells the story of ‘Birrarung’, the Yarra River. Bunjil, the wedge-tailed eagle, creator spirit of the Wurundjeri people, oversees the journey of the Yarra River from the natural habitats at the start of the river down to the urbanised habitats of the bay. Throughout the journey, the flora, fauna and life that calls the Yarra River home are captured in the details of both the written and illustrated story, with eye-catching accuracy in the illustrations and descriptions of animalistic behaviour. Each read is sure to elicit new findings that previously went unnoticed as readers pore over the beautiful illustrations that reflect modern Aboriginal art styles. Visual and verbal narratives are expertly interwoven, as is the integration of Woiwurrung language into the English text. A glossary for translation is provided, with the Aboriginal words set out according to the page they occurred on in the story for easy reference. This format is highly engaging and encourages re-reading which will further enhance understanding. The overall production is highly professional, with artistic endpapers and a stunning front cover that any young reader would want to explore.