Age range 4 to 10
Kangaroo and Emu make the first boomerang and see the first sunrise.
Now there are days and nights … And people can find their way across Country.
The First Sunrise is a Mbabaram creation story from Mbabaram Country in Far North Queensland and is an engaging and beautiful book for curious minds.
The story centres around the Creator Spirit, Mulungh, directing Emu and Kangaroo how to make the first returning boomerang, which, when thrown, causes the sun to arc across the sky, forming the creation of day and night. The arrival of the first sunrise teaches Emu and Kangaroo how to read shadows, follow directions and understand the orbit of the earth around the sun, making this book perfect for use in the classroom.
This story was told to Nessa by her father, Colin Alec Stevens (Alick Chalk), who lived traditionally in the Aboriginal Camps of Irvinebank, Bakerville and Watsonville in North Queensland, from 1901 to 1916. His learnings and stories, remain important to Mbabaram culture, language and identity.
The First Sunrise is the inaugural title in the new Magabala series First Peoples • First Sciences — children’s picture books that pair fun science with First Nations knowledge.
Vanessa Stevens is a Mbarbaram, Yidinji and Taribalang Bunda woman, Traditional Owners of the Tableland Region, Cairns and Bundaberg areas of Queensland. She was a Primary School Principal and an educator for more than thirty years.
Charmaine Ledden-Lewis is a proud descendant of the Bundjalung people on the Clarence River in Northern NSW. She lives on Dharug and Gundungurra Country, in the Blue Mountains, NSW. Charmaine was the 2019 winner of Magabala Books’ Kestin Indigenous Illustrator Award and illustrated Bruce Pascoe’s children’s picture book Found, followed by Edith Wright’s Charlie’s Swim in 2022 and Cathy Freeman’s Born to Run (2021). Her latest book is Ask Aunty: Seasons by Aunty Munya Andrews.