Flying High by Sally Morgan & Ezekiel Kwaymullina
Published by Scholastic Australia
This is a gentle story with a universal theme set within a family and community that is distinctly indigenous - it is dedicated "For all the kids who struggle with school”. Larnie, from Perth, gets a chance to fly away from school where she feels dumb and worthless (she has reading difficulties), to visit her Gran and extended family in Port Hedland. Here, amongst her creative relatives, Larnie learns that there are skills other than reading and writing that she can excel at, and soon she is 'flying high' in more ways than one.
The format of this book is appealing for an early reader, with a colourful cover, short chapters, illustrations sharing the page with the text, and track-like patterns snaking up the long edges of each page. There is a freedom, warmth and humour in the grey-scale sketches of the indigenous family by Craig Smith.
Flying High is one of several books by this author/illustrator team and anything that encourages indigenous children to read, and non-indigenous children to connect with their neighbours is a welcome addition to the early reader space.
It is heartening to see indigenous authors writing early readers that are salient for non-indigenous readers and have special significance for indigenous readers.
CKT Book Reviewer
Authors: Sally Morgan and Ezekiel Kwaymullina
Illustrator: Craig Smith
Title: Flying High
Publisher: Omnibus Books for Scholastic
Published: April 2015