Title: Story Doctors
Author: Boori Monty Pryor
Illustrator: Rita Sinclair
Published: July 2021
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Readership: Children’s Picturebook
I received a copy of Story Doctors from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
An empowering story for all Australians, acknowledging our true history, embracing inclusivity, and celebrating the healing powers of nature and culture.
This is a book for everybody. Welcome! Take a seat! And listen carefully, because this story has a heartbeat. Can you feel it, there in your chest?
Legendary storyteller Boori Monty Pryor invites us to travel with him from the first footsteps through 80,000+ years of strength, sickness, and immense possibility.
From the very first stories and art, to dance, language, and connection with the land, Boori offers a powerful, beautiful, and deeply rich account of Australia’s true history, drawing on a lifetime of wisdom, and on his generous instinct to teach and heal.
An exquisitely illustrated celebration of the power of storytelling to unite us, how nature connects us, and the wonderful truth that the medicine needed for healing lies within us all.
It’s nearly NAIDOC week here in Australia, and what better way to celebrate the week than by reading Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander books. When Allen and Unwin reached out to me to review Story Doctors I jumped at the opportunity to continue my journey exploring children’s picture book texts by indigenous authors.
Story Doctors draws on the rich, lush history of Australia – both the strengths and triumphs, as well as the challenges and hardships the country faces. It highlights the important messages and lessons we can learn from the vast history of the traditional people of the country and their knowledge of the land. The beautiful, lyrical storytelling style is supported by stunning illustrations.
This is a text that is for all ages, and tells an important message. For all readers, young and old, the strength in this text is the discussion had around it after reading. It’s not a text you read once, and then forget about. I came back to it multiple times after my first read, and I had to in order to review the book. It’s full of layers and care and hurt for a country that has a long past. It’s the perfect discussion starter.
Pyror’s narrative storytelling style is perfect for reading aloud and Sinclair’s illustrations invite you to look closer at the details on each page. Not every page has text, and so the importance of the illustrations to help carry the message is clear. They highlight the clear trail from past to present.
This is another text I can’t wait to take back to share with students. It will, no doubt, provide a lot of thoughtful discussion on the current state of the country, as well as how we can learn from the past to move towards a better future.