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Mother's Day | 8 First Nations children's books about mothers in the lead up to Mother's Day

Updated: May 12


 

Today, I would like to acknowledge the Yuggera people as the Traditional Owners of the beautiful land I am standing on today. From the mountains to the river, I open my heart and my eyes as I walk this land, listening, learning and caring for Country. I want to extend this respect to Elders; past, present and emerging and to all First Nations peoples reading this post today. We are all remembered here.

 

Just so you know, this post does contain sponsored content through the use of affiliate links, my proud partnerships and my own products and resources and I want to thank each of you for continuing to use my affiliate links to support the work I do. As you know, each blog post is based on my own experiences, opinions, and what I have been taught, and does not represent all First Nations peoples or Communities. Please remember that, connecting with your local First Nations Community is always the most respectful way for you to embed First Nations content specific to your area.

 


With Mother's Day just around the corner and so many of us starting to prepare our students and children for Mother's Day, with gifts and all sorts of wonderful things. I wanted to share with you a few of our most loved First Nations children's books that feature mothers, aunties, nanas, and of course Mother Earth so you can share them with your students and children as well.


At the end of this blog post, I am also going to include some matching literacy templates and sustainability Mother's Day teacher templates just in time for you to use for Mother's Day with your students and children.


This list is always growing and expanding so be sure to check back regularly for the most recent additions. (New book and template added at the end so check them out too!)


Alright, well let's get into these books then!


Ninni Yabini - written by Cheryl Kickett - Tucker and illustrated by Tyrown Waigana

This is the most gorgeous book for our little ones about a Mother and Father swan and the love they have for their baby. Written in both Noongar and English by highly respected Wadjuk Noongar Traditional Owner and research academic Professor Kickett - Tucker and illustrated by Wardandi Noongar and Ait Koedhal multidisciplinary artist and graphic designer.


Ninni Yabini is such a gentle story of; family, love, belonging, and making safe choices - illustrated through the journey of a little family and their; knowing and belonging of Noongar seasons, connections with land, waterways and sky and their strength and love for one another.


This is such a perfect children's book for Early Childhood through to year 2.


These are the Freemantle Press teaching notes for Ninni Yabini and if you would like to purchase Ninni Yabini, I will include my affiliate link below for you to use. Thank you so much in advance for supporting me in this way and for supporting my proud partnerships.


The Shop Train - written by Josie Wowolla Boyle and illustrated by Paul Seden


All aboard!


For teachers, librarians and parents wanting to delve into a historical narrative through themes of - transport, family and Community, bound for yesteryear. Share in the timeless gift, a First Nations story and childhood memory from Wonghi Elder, Josie Wowolla Boyle with her mum. Brought to life through the stunning illustrations of contrast, from Wuthathi and Muralag illustrator Paul Seden.


The Shop Train has become a bedtime favourite in our house (with our daughter, aged 5) and has opened the door to a world of discussions and making connections, particularly around trains, transport and the role they have played in our family's lives through the years.


The Shop Train is written for children and students aged 5 - 9 years old (Foundation - Year 3) and I just love how its depth will captivate the minds of students of all ages through the complexity and mastery of the illustrations and their connections to the text.

Whether it is for the classroom library, school library or home library, The Shop Train is one that will be an all time favourite all year round and become a perfect modelled reading and mentor text for your English or History program.


These are the Magabala Books teaching notes for The Shop Train and if you would like to purchase The Shop Train, I will include my affiliate link below for you to use. Thank you so much in advance for supporting me in this way and for supporting my Community partnerships.


Kunyi - written and illustrated by Kunyi June Anne McInerney



Kunyi was released in June of 2021 and to say that its release was one of the most anticipated First Nations children's books in the Australian teaching community, would have to be an understatement!


As always, Magabala Books have truly delivered in bringing to life, Aunty Kunyi June Anne McInerney's story of 60 pages, filled with intricate acrylic on canvas paintings (except for 'Bath time', oil on canvas) which were showcased as a part of her standout exhibition 'My Paintings Speak For Me' through Country Art SA .


'to help heal the affected families and provide truth-telling of Australia’s history'


Kunyi is a hard cover First Nations children's book that shares a story of truth, strength and resilience, through the eyes and real life experiences of 4 year old Kunyi, who was taken from her mother and placed in the Oodnadatta Children's Home, in South Australia.


Kunyi is a sensational First Nations children's book for students from year 2 to year 6 and explores the themes of the Stolen Generations, art, First Nations social life and customs, Yankunytjatjara (Aboriginal language), and family.


And... as usual you can download the FREE Magabala Books Teacher Notes chocka block full matching lesson ideas, all completely linked to the Australian Curriculum and ready for you to embed straight into your program.

If you would like to purchase Kunyi, I will include my affiliate link below for you to use. Thank you so much in advance for supporting me in this way and for supporting my Community partnerships.


Day Break - Written by Amy McQuire and illustrated by Matt Chun

Filled with stunning illustrations by Matt Chun that hug the truth - telling narrative of the very talented Darumbal and South Sea Islander author, Amy McQuire. Together, they share an engaging and powerfully gentle story of a nan's resilience and strength when journeying back to Country on January 26, with her family.


Day Break is without a doubt a children's book you will use time and time again without fail. I guarantee it will have you and your students captivated from start to finish, with a stream of important discussions evolving from every page turned, changing the future narrative of Australia and promoting reconciliation for future generations to come.


Day Break is a wonderful addition to any Foundation (kindy / prep) to Year 6 classroom and is a stand out and go to book for shared reading in my teacher library.

I will add the Day Break teaching notes link here for you to download for free and if you would like to purchase Day Break, I will include my affiliate link below for you to use. Thank you so much in advance for supporting me in this way and for supporting my Community partnerships.


Aunty's Wedding - written by Miranda Tapsell & Joshua Tyler and Illustrated by Samantha Fry


Written by Larrakia and Tiwi - author, producer and actor Miranda Tapsell, co-author Joshua Tyler and illustrated by Dagoman and Wardaman illustrator and artist Samantha Campbell (nee Fry).


Aunty's Wedding is a stunningly captivating First Nations children's book, about a young girl who is getting ready for her Aunty's wedding. With the guidance of her maningawu (grandmother - Tiwi language) she learns Tiwi wedding customs and traditions to celebrate this important day with her family and Aunty.


I will add the Aunty's Wedding teaching notes link here and activity link here for you to download for free and if you would like to purchase Day Break, I will include my affiliate link below for you to use. Thank you so much in advance for supporting me in this way and for supporting my proud partnerships.


Miimi Marraal Mother Earth - written and illustrated by Melissa Greenwood



You may know the name Melissa Greenwood from Gumbaynggirr mother-daughter art and design label Miimi and Jiinda, and now Melissa has the most stunningly poetic children's book celebrating the connection between our bubbas and Mother Earth, through a deep message from mother to child.


If you would like to purchase Miimi Marraal Mother Earth, I will include my affiliate link below for you to use. Thank you so much in advance for supporting me in this way and for supporting my Community partnerships.


Father Sky and Mother Earth - written and illustrated by Oodgeroo



Written by Noonuccal woman, poet and activist, Oodgeroo Noonuccal is this poetically timely children's book and an important reminder to us all, of our role to take care of Country and Mother Earth to undo some of the destruction of the past to create a harmonious future.


If you would like to purchase Father Sky and Mother Earth, I will include my affiliate link below for you to use. Thank you so much in advance for supporting me in this way and for supporting my Community partnerships.


On the Way to Nana's - written by Frances and Lindsay Haji-Ali and illustrated by David Hardy


On the Way to Nana's is an incredible First Nations children's book written by proud Yawuru/Karajarri man Lindsey Haji - Ali in collaboration with teacher Frances Haji-Ali. The iconic illustrations are the naturally captivating work of Barkindji illustrator David Hardy. These naturally fill the hearts and minds of it's young readers, while teaching them to count backwards from 15 - 0 while on a journey through the Kimberley to Nana's house.


If you would like to purchase On The Way To Nana's, I will include my affiliate link below for you to use. Thank you so much in advance for supporting me in this way and for supporting my Community partnerships.


****Bonus new book****

Big, Big Love Written by Lisa Fuller and Illustrated by Samantha Campbell




So Big, Big Love is a new First Nations children's book put out and published by Magabala Books. It is written by the incredible Lisa Fuller, a Murri writer who is now living on Ngunnawal and Nganbri lands and is illustrated by renowned illustrator and Dagoman artist Samantha Campbell.


Big, Big Love is a beautiful simple and capturing First Nations children's book that really encompasses the unconditional love that mothers have for their children.


The simple and really relatable text throughout Big, Big Love allows all of our little ones to truly understand what the author is saying and gives them the opportunity to feel and connect with the words of the author.


The illustrations throughout these beautiful double page spreads, are timeless and really do pay tribute to and reflect the ideas that are shared throughout the text. These make it really easy for our little learners to be able to comprehend what's happening in the story and also form a connection and be able to relate to the book at their own level.


I would highly recommend this book for kindergarten to year two and obviously it is a perfect book for Mother's Day but it is also wonderful book to read any time of year to demonstrate love and connection between parents, children and family.



Matching literacy teacher templates


This is a simple template ready for you to download and print of. Simply use this template to identify with your students the beginning, middle and end of a text.


First students can discuss as a class and you can demonstrate how to use the flip book on the board. Your students can then head back to their desks and begin drawing a picture in the space provided to represent what happened in the beginning of the story, followed by a description. They will do this for each section (beginning, middle and end) and then they can discuss in pairs their descriptions and matching illustrations with their buddy and receive feedback. Finally, each student can colour in their flip book cover ready for them to be hung around the room.


This template is ready for members of the Teacher Template Club to download. If you are not a member of the Teacher Template Club but would like to join head over to the join page where you can sign up and then start downloading this template and so much more!


This is a beautiful bee themed display (but you can of course change the colours to suit your theme!) where you can simply drag and drop the cover of any books your class reads into the image frame on each mini book ready for you to download, print, display and celebrate all of the class books you read together.


Again, this template is ready for members of the Teacher Template Club to download. If you are not a member of the Teacher Template Club but would like to join head over to the join page where you can sign up and then start downloading this template and so much more!



If you are looking to focus on a particular First Nations author, then this is one simple but very effective way, I love bringing all of our information together for my class to really see and celebrate each author we study.


Again, you can drag and drop images into any of the frames, all of the text is customisable so you can change it to whatever you like and in full, this template is completely customisable, which means you can change absolutely anything you like, from text, to colours to fonts and size you can customise it!


As always, this template is ready for members of the Teacher Template Club to download. If you are not a member of the Unlimited Library but would like to join head over to the join page where you can sign up and then start downloading this template and so much more!


Mother's Day seed pouch templates


Personally, I adore linking sustainability into my teaching resources wherever I can and this is just one way that I love to give a gift of life and also share an opportunity of gratitude to our beautiful mums.


These seed pouches are a simple template for you to customise and mould to suit the needs of your students and mums. Everything is completely customisable from the text to the images and even the pouch itself, so change anything you like to customise it to your little learners.


Here at home, we like to save the seeds we find in our fruit and then replant them to create and share new life with someone we love. We save the seeds we find in our fruit, wash them and then leave them to dry. We then make our little pouches and then once our seeds are completely dry we place them inside the pouch. These are such a sweet gift, packed full of so much learning and depth for our little ones to learn from, enjoy and share.


This Thank you for helping me grow seed pouch is short and sweet, and as with all of my templates it is completely customisable for you to make your own, for your students.



This Thank you Mum seed pouch and poem is a sweet poem again connecting to sustainability but is also reminiscent of the activities I do as a mum. These are completely customisable for you and I would encourage you to mould and shape this poem to suit your students. You could do this by doing a class brainstorm on words or activities that their mums do and then using these to create their own poems or one class poem.


As always my templates are 100% customisable so feel free to change anything you need to to suit your students and class.



This last template is made so you can use it for any time of the year and also so your students can write their own short message, rather than having one written for them. You could do this by creating a short sentence as a class, as an example and then have your students customise it using a word bank or words familiar to them.


Again, this template is completely customisable for you to change to suit your students needs and your classroom. That includes size, fonts, colours, or anything else you need!


All of these templates are available for download in the Teacher Template Club Membership where you have access to all of my templates and you can now also make requests for templates that you need in your classroom too.


If you are a member then click here to head over and begin downloading these templates now and if you would like to join the membership then click here to head over to the join page.



Bonus template - Storyboard worksheet


Well, you made it to the end so I wanted to share with you a special Storyboard template I made as a Canva Education Speciality that you can download here plus it is available in the Canva Library and also on my Canva profile as well so be sure to follow me over there too.


Canva for teachers


If you are a teacher who wants to use the free Canva templates above but doesn't have a Canva account, this is the link for you to use to find Canva for Education . Canva is free for teachers so please use the link to get verified by the Canva team.


If you are not a teacher or if you would like to try using Canva Pro for business or other purposes, then please feel free to use my affiliate link to try Canva Pro for 30 days for free.


Thank you


If you have enjoyed this blog post and found it to be helpful then please share it with a teacher friend who might also find it helpful too.


I would love to hear in the comments about which of these incredible books and teacher template you love and will be using in your classrooms for Mother's Day, so feel free to share in the comments below so we can check yours out too.


Thank you so much for spending your time with me today, I know how valuable it is so it really does mean the world that you've chosen to spend it with me and as always happy embedding!




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