Even better than a hug from a dingo cat – ‘Cyclones and Shadows’


I used to work up in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. Red dirt, indomitable spinifex and awe-inspiring mountain ranges.

I’m miffed that I never got to experience a cyclone, though. (‘You don’t want to,’ said everyone who ever had.) Still, I would’ve loved to really feel WHY. The wind and the pressure and the bunkering down…

Now, thanks to modern storytelling, I’m halfway there :). ‘Cyclones and Shadows’ is a collection of four fab stories all based around the north of Australia, including one in a cyclone.

I’m in love with them all. I’d love a Shadow of my very own!

And his mango tree too, please!

What made me grin reading this book?

These stories, by Laura Dudgeon, Pat Dudgeon, Sabrina Dudgeon-Swift and Darlene Oxenham, are full of humour, empathy, insight and adventure. There are strong female main characters, zero gender stereotypes (when was the last time you read about a girl fixing up a car in Junior Fiction? Yeah, I thought so…), and vibrant themes of family and friendship

It is so refreshing to pick up a book where the enticing illustrations are mainly of Indigenous Australians, the stories are written by Indigenous authors, and the writing allows any child (or adult) to connect and immerse themselves. Diversity and empathy go hand in hand in children’s books, and this collection of stories is an absolute gem.

‘Cyclones and Shadows’ is aimed at children aged 6-10 years. It comes with a hats-off, stupendous-clapping level of recommendation from me. 

Have you read it? Are there other children’s books by Indigenous authors you’ve loved?

2 thoughts on “Even better than a hug from a dingo cat – ‘Cyclones and Shadows’

  1. Pingback: Children’s Round-up: March 2018 – Australian Women Writers Challenge Blog

  2. Pingback: AWW2018 roundup and 2019 launch! | hm waugh – writer

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