A Vibrant Conversation Starter: Read Our Review of Welcome to Our Country: Somebody’s Land by Adam Goodes and Ellie Laing, Illustrated by David Hardy

A Vibrant Conversation Starter: Read Our Review of Welcome to Our Country: Somebody’s Land by Adam Goodes and Ellie Laing, Illustrated by David Hardy

For thousands and thousands of years, Aboriginal people lived in the land we call Australia.

Somebody’s Land is an accessible picture book for young children that introduces First Nations history and the term ‘terra nullius’ to a general audience, from former AFL star, Australian of the Year and community leader Adam Goodes and political adviser and former journalist Ellie Laing, with artwork by Barkindji illustrator David Hardy.

Somebody’s Land is an invitation to connect with First Nations culture, to acknowledge the hurt of the past and to join together as one community with a precious shared history as old as time.

Goodes and Laing’s powerful words combined with Hardy’s pictures invite children and their families to imagine themselves into Australia’s past – to feel the richness of our First Nations’ history, to acknowledge that our country was never terra nullius, and to understand what ‘welcome to our country’ really means. Planned for a five-book series, Goodes and Laing have designed this series to introduce First Nations history, community and culture to a wide general audience.

Somebody’s Land is a vibrant conversation starter to help readers young and old understand the importance of acknowledging Country as well as the rich cultures of the traditional custodians of the lands where we live. Through simple yet powerful prose, Goodes and Laing shine a light on Australia’s rich yet confronting history, while Hardy’s vibrant illustrations transform this into an accessible and easy-to-understand story for younger readers.

The story presents a sequential timeline of Australia’s history. It begins by showing the Aboriginal people’s land and lifestyle before settlement, followed by the arrival of the First Fleet, who called the land ‘Terra Nullius’ – the Latin word for ‘no man’s land’ – and its impact, through to the present day, showing that this will always be Aboriginal Land. Recommended for readers aged 4+, the presentation of this timeline in a visual, sequential order combined with the repetition ‘somebody’s land’ and ‘Aboriginal Land’ makes the story’s impactful and powerful message digestible for a young audience. As the book’s title suggests, Australia was never no man’s land but always somebody’s land.

Somebody’s Land is an incredibly important children’s book that delivers the history and experiences of colonisation to young readers. Goodes, Laing and Hardy even make an appearance (in illustrated form) at the beginning and end of the book to acknowledge country and pay respect to First Nations people. Combining stunning illustrations with a powerful yet hopeful message from Goodes and Laing, Somebody’s Land is an essential read for all Australian children.

Buy a copy of Somebody’s Land here.

Reviews

A Guide for Parents and Carers: Somebody's Land by Adam Goodes and Ellie Laing, Illustrated by David Hardy

Review | Book Life | Extract

24 November 2021

A Guide for Parents and Carers: Somebody's Land by Adam Goodes and Ellie Laing, Illustrated by David Hardy

Publisher details

Welcome to Our Country: Somebody's Land
Authors
Adam Goodes, David Hardy, Ellie Laing
Publisher
Allen & Unwin
Genre
Children’s Fiction
Released
02 November, 2021
ISBN
9781760526726

Synopsis

An accessible picture book for young children that introduces First Nations history and the term 'terra nullius' to a general audience, from Australian of the Year, community leader and anti-racism advocate Adam Goodes and political adviser and former journalist Ellie Laing, with artwork by Barkindji illustrator David Hardy.Somebody's Land is an invitation to connect with First Nations culture, to acknowledge the hurt of the past, and to join together as one community with a precious shared history as old as time.Adam Goodes and Ellie Laing's powerful words and David Hardy's pictures, full of life, invite children and their families to imagine themselves into Australia's past - to feel the richness of our First Nations' history, to acknowledge that our country was never terra nullius, and to understand what 'welcome to our country' really means.
Ellie Laing
About the author

Ellie Laing

Ellie Laing (nee Southwood) is a communications professional, and former political advisor and journalist, who lives on the lands of the Gammeraygal people on the northern beaches of Sydney with her husband and two sons. When Ellie's eldest son Harvey came home from preschool reciting Acknowledgements of Country and singing Aboriginal lullabies, she was inspired to collaborate with Adam Goodes on a series of books aimed at helping families with young children to talk about Australia's First Nations history. She is currently completing studies in Traditional Aboriginal Cultures.

Books by Ellie Laing

Adam Goodes
About the author

Adam Goodes

Adam Goodes is an Adnyamathanha and Narungga man and community leader. He is a former Australian Rules footballer, having achieved the greatest heights in the game, and was named Australian of the Year in 2014 for his public work in the fight against racism and his advocacy in First Nations affairs. Together with his cousin Michael O'Loughlin, Adam founded the GO Foundation, which supports and inspires the next generation of First Nations leaders. With a diploma in Aboriginal Studies and his own daughter approaching preschool age, Adam was motivated to publish a series of books for young children and families about Australia's First Nations history.

Books by Adam Goodes

David Hardy
About the author

David Hardy

David Hardy is an Indigenous artist, with over 8 years of feature film animation experience with Walt Disney Animation Studios. David is also an author and illustrator of his own book series with Magabala Books, Alfie’s Search for Destiny and Alfie’s Big Wish. David has also illustrated other book titles such as On the Way to Nanas, Beatbox Brothers and The Proud Foots, Shaka Shaka Hawaii. He lives in Sydney with his wife May and two kids Caden and Summer.

Books by David Hardy

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