April 2020 Children's & YA Lead Titles

Mum's Elephant Maureen Jipiyiliya Nampijinpa O’Keefe, illustrated by Christina Booth

Mum's Elephant
Maureen Jipiyiliya Nampijinpa O’Keefe, illustrated by Christina Booth

Paperback | Apr 2020 | Magabala Books | 9781925936728 | 32pp | 250x250mm | GEN | AUD$21.99, NZD$24.99

Age range 0 to 8 

'A simply lovely story about the sometimes-quirky memories we have of our mothers.' — Dub Leffler, award winning author/illustrator

Maureen Jipiyiliya Nampijinpa O'Keefe grew up in the remote community of Ali Curung in the NT. Her family lived a bush life. They didn't own much but her mother had a very special 'elephant'. It was her mother's most prized possession and she gave it tender loving care. When her mother's friends were around, they had real tea-parties with the elephant. Often her mother would sleep with it beside her bed.

Christina Booth's splendid illustrations of desert landscapes and bush life deepen the mystery of the elephant, only revealing subtle clues to its true identity. The reader is beguiled by the storytelling until the big surprise when the elephant is revealed. Maureen Jipiyiliya Nampijinpa O'Keefe is a natural storyteller and conveys warmth and humour in her writing. Mum's Elephant will intrigue children and remind adult readers of the simple things that held a special charm when they were young.

'Maureen Jipiyiliya Nampijinpa O'Keefe has spun a cherished childhood memory into a beguiling tale for children in this debut picture book...The joy and value of community lies at the centre of this story — the teapot, which comes out whenever friends visit, is valued for its ability to spark conversations and shared stories — and O'Keefe's gentle humour illuminates the creative and transformative power of a child's perspective on an adult world. Mum's Elephant is a welcome addition to the growing number of stories being shared by First Nations writers.' — Bronte Coates, Books+Publishing