The Lost Girl, by Ambelin Kwaymullina & Leanne Tobin

The girl had lost her way.
She had wandered away from the Mothers,
the Aunties and the Grandmothers,
from the Fathers and the Uncles
and the Grandfathers.

When a young girl is lost in the bush, she is at first scared. But she stays calm, sheltering for the night to keep warm, finding water and bush food to fill her stomach and eventually following a crow that leaves her back to the camp-site, where she is warmly welcomed by her family. When her younger brother asks her how she coped, she acknowledges the help she was given by nature, ‘my mother.’

The Lost Girl is a lavish book celebrating indigenous culture and Australia’s natural environment, as well as the bond between the two. The story is gently told – young readers will fear for the girl, but visual clues form the start make it clear that she is no in danger. instead, she is surrounded by animals and plants which offer her company and protection.

The illustrations, painted in acrylic, use rich natural colours – ochres, greens, golds and silvery greys. The beauty of the scenery is well captured, as is the joy of both girl and family when they are reunited.

A beautiful offering for home or classroom.


The Lost Girl, by Ambelin Kwaymullina & Leanne Tobin
Walker Books, 2014
ISBN 9781921529634

Available from good bookstores or online.