Diane Lucas currently works as an ethnocologist with her husband. They travel around northern Australia doing work related to this as well as botanical and fire ecology work. Diane was a school teacher on an Aboriginal outstation in Kakadu during 1983 and 84. From 1991 to 96 she worked on a research project documenting traditional resources on the South Alligator River floodplain and surrounds. She now lives only two hours from Kakadu and maintains a strong relationship with the people and country there. Illustrator bio: Ken Searle is a painter and illustrator who is represented in major galleries in Australia and internationally. He designed and facilitated the illustratons done by over 40 Anangu staff and students for Papunya School Book of Country and History (Papunya School, A+U 2001), designed When I Was Little Like You (Mary Malbunka, A+U 2002) and illustrated Lucy in the Leap Year (Nadia Wheatley, Omnibus, 1993.
What a sensual pleasure it was to read this title! It takes you on a tour of the Kakadu region, creating an evocative impression of seasonal changes in the landscape, and their impact on the plants, animals and local Indigenous communities. The text is information-dense yet at times it reads like poetry. Descriptions of the area's remarkable biodiversity and the prodigious bounty of local 'bush tucker' will leave readers salivating. The author has a gentle narrative style that respectfully acknowledges the traditions and inherited wisdom of the Gundjeihmi-speaking people. Her approach is immediate; the text sounds like the voice of a community member pointing out features and details whilst leading a visitor through their home territory. This is a very 'teacher-friendly' book--it includes an exten-sive glossary and index, and offers pointers on pronun-ciation. That said, the book should have tremendous popular appeal for children and their parents. Ken Searle's illustrations make individual plant and animal species distinct yet they also reflect the dreamlike, ethereal qualities of the text. My only reservation is about the typography impeding legibility. But get a copy of this book: it has all the hallmarks of an award-winner! Lizzie Whyte works at Heinemann Library. C. 2003 Thorpe-Bowker and contributors
What a sensual pleasure it was to read this title! ...Get a copy of this book: it has all the hallmarks of an award-winner!'Australian Bookseller & PublisherOutstanding among the year's picture books an innovative, informative, beautifully illustrated account 'Adelaide AdvertiserThis marvellous new book takes us on a journey with wonderful illustrations by Ken Searle, and lively, descriptive text by Diane Lucas.' Sydney's Childthe book superbly depicts an extraordinary part of Australia ' Sunday Telegraph