6 Jan. 2021
The story refocuses the narratives around ‘Australia Day’ on Indigenous survival and resistance, and in doing so honours the past while looking to the future. Confronting yet truthful, painful yet full of hope, Day Break is a crucial story that will open up a conversation on truth-telling for the next generation.
InformationBook Type: Picture Books
Age Group: 5 years +
Class Novel: No
Good Reads Rating: /5
Literary Rating: /5
Day Break is the story of a young First Nations girl’s journey back to Country on the 26th January with her Dad and her Nan. The story poses questions about how this anniversary is taught to children in Australian schools, as well as commenting on taught concepts such as ‘Australian spirit’, the national flag, and memorialising soldiers and war.
Matt Chun’s illustrations compliment the story perfectly, depicting not only the beauty of Country and of Indigenous culture, but also the pain associated with January 26th for First Nations people. The story provides an approachable but unflinching view of January 26th for First Nations families, and is ideal for provoking discussions about the origins of this anniversary and the history of colonialism in Australia.
References to the invasion of Australia and Stolen Generation: “We remember those who died when the white people came. We remember hoe we lost our land. We remember how Nan was stolen from her family” (p. 15-16), accompanied by an illustration of an Indigenous mother and child being separated by faceless figures.
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