One day he showed them a cricket bat and ball.
‘Wanna play a game?’ he asked.
Sundown and Tiger were willing and Mosquito said he’d give it a go.
When Aboriginal stockman Johnny Mullagh throws a ball back to the settlers playing a game of cricket, they invite him to join in. Soon Johnny, whose real name is Unaarrimin, is a skilled cricketer, spreading the game amongst his friends. When the team is invited to tour England, they are keen, but the Board for Protection of Aborigines says they can’t go. So Johnny and his friends sneak out of the country and head to England to take on the best, and delight crowds with their cricket prowess and their displays of boomerangs, spears and dance.
Boomerang and Bat tells the story of the real first eleven, the first Australian touring team. Greenwood’s text is informative but at the same time captures the emotion of the story, and Denton’s ink and watercolour illustrations bring both landscape and characters to life, capturing the times with detail which young readers will enjoy exploring.
Boomerang and Bat, by Mark Greenwood & Terry Denton
Allen & Unwin, 2016