Blacky (Gary Black) and Dumby Red play for the same football team, but they come from different worlds. Blacky lives in town with his seven siblings, his long-suffering mother and his alchoholic father. Dumby lives on the point, in the Aborignal settlement.
At first, Blacky thinks he hasn’t got much in common with Dumby, but when Dumby saves his skin by defending him, Gary realises Dumby is his friend. Unfortunately, its might be okay for a Nunga and a Gunya to play football together, but it isn’t so easy for them to be firends.
Through his friendship with Dumby, Blacky starts to see his town through different eyes. He starts to question some of the things which he has previously accepted – racist jokes, rude graffiti, and the separation of black and white.
Deadly Unna is a story about racism, but it is also a story about much more – friendship, family and self-identity being among the themes explored.
The voice of actor Chris Pittman is an excellent fit for the first-person narration of the text, which won the Book of the Year (Older Readers) Award in the CBCA Awards in 1999.
A great version of an outstanding novel for teens.
Deadly Unna, by Phillip Gwynne, read by Chris Pitman
ABC Audio, 2001
When the usually arid Lake Eyre in Central Australia is filled by rare floods, its shores become home to a great range of wildlife, including pelicans. But when the lake starts to shrink again, these animals face a choice between starvation and risking their lives to return to their regular homes.
In Pannikin & Pinta a pair of pelicans comes to the flooded lake to raise a family. When the flood recedes, the mother sets off on a journey with her teenage children to attempt to return to the coast.
Combining the masterful prose of Colin Thiele with the warm reading voice of actor Roger Cardwell, this is a production which touches the soul. Although Thiele is known as a writer of children’s and young adult stories, he has an ageless style which makes this story suitable for all. At 57 minutes playing time, this story could be enjoyed in one session.
Pannikin & Pinta, by Colin Thiele, read by Roger Cardwell
ABC Audio, 2003
There are plenty of Christmas tapes and cds on the market, but this production offers something a little bit different.
With a combination of stories, song and humour, this is great for Christmas listening at home as well as being suitable for the primary classroom.
On side one Sophie Lee reads the delightful Eloise at Christmastime, while Mark Mitchell, whose comedy will be well known to many parents, tells the hilarious tale of a Crisis on Christmas Eve. On the reverse side, Jane Clifton signs an Australian version of the Twelve Days of Christmas – A Bellbird in a Flame Tree, from the book by Kilmeny Niland, and Kym Lardner (and friends) add a fun, yet beautiful, version of the nativity story.
Christmas Stories for Kids is a great offering from ABC Audio and would be a thoughtful gift for the kids on your list.
Christmas Stories for Kids, with Jane Clifton, Kym Lardner, Sophie Lee and Mark Mitchell
ABC Audio, 2001