The Two-Hearted Numbat, by Ambelin & Ezekiel Kwaymullina

Reviewed by Sally and Conor Murphy

Sally’s Review

Numbat has two hearts. When he wears the first, a feather, he feels soft and gentle, but when he wears it he finds himself spending all his time looking after the other numbats, until he has nothing left for himself. When Numbat wears his other heart, a stone, he feels powerful and strong, and works too hard, refusing to let anyone help him.

When Numbat decides it is too hard having two hearts, he goes to Eldest Numbat for some help. Eventually he comes to realise that he doesn’t need to choose. Instead, he needs to wear both of his hearts together, so that he can be both strong and compassionate.

This beautiful tale of wisdom and self-awareness is brightly illustrated with images of the Western Australian bush and animals. The author and illustrator are members of the traditional Baligu and Nyamal peoples of the Pilbara region, and both the text and illustrations are visibly influenced by their traditional links.

A gorgeous story which will be enjoyed both for private reading and classroom use.

Conor’s Review

This story is about a numbat. He can’t figure out which heart to have. A rock heart or a feather heart. He ends up having both.

This story is okay. I like the pictures because they have outlines and lots of good colours.
(Conor Murphy, age 7)

The Two-Hearted Numbat, by Ambelin & Ezekiel Kwaymullina
Fremantle Press, 2008

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