Review Blog

Mar 02 2018

I remember by Joanne Crawford

cover image

Ill. by Kerry Anne Jordinson. Magabala Books, 2018. ISBN 9781925360769
(Ages: 4-8) Themes: Memory, Childhood. This is the recollection of an elderly woman about the Murchison River camping trips she went on with her family when she was a child. While presumably based on the memories of the author, the elderly storyteller pictured is fictional. She begins, "When I was young, I remember . . . " and what follows is her reminiscing about how she felt, what she thought and the evocative nature of her memories ("I can almost feel the slimy, squishy river mud between my toes"). At the end of the book we are taken back to our storyteller who tells us about how memory can be elusive ("The memories don't come all that often, just flashes here and there") and are reminded of the fragility of memory but also about how sharing our stories keeps them alive. The illustrations help to bring her memories to life, not just how it was but how she remembers it (the wildflowers as far as her eyes could see, the dark water of the dam that terrified her, etc.). This tale will resonate with parents and grandparents all over Australia, who will have memories of similar cherished memories. In addition, most children who have ever been on a family holiday will be able to relate to the storyteller's excitement about packing things into the car, the anticipation felt driving to the destination and then the peaceful time spent with family. This could be a useful educational resource when dealing with memory, family history and oral traditions of storytelling.
Nicole Nelson

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