REVIEW: Rocky and Louie by Phil Walleystack, Raweyn Caisley and Dub Leffler

Published: 28th April 2020

Publisher: Puffin Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House Australia

Pages:  32

Format: Hardback picture book (courtesy of the publisher for review)

RRP: $24.99

4/5 Stars

 Louie’s big brother, Rocky, has big dreams and wants to chase them. But Louie doesn’t want him to forget where he belongs . . .

A heartfelt story about the bond between two brothers and their special connection to country. Illustrated by CBCA award-winning picture-book creator Dub Leffler, and written by acclaimed singer/storyteller Phil Walleystack and award-winning children’s author Raewyn Caisley.

 Rocky and Louie is a super sweet picture about family, country and change.

When the book opened and given the AFL themes on the cover and first page, I was a little worried. I’m not a big football/AFL/soccer fan and I was worried I wasn’t going to ‘get’ enough of this book. Turns out my initial worries were unnecessary as this book is about so much more than sport. I loved learning about country and the Indigenous culture alongside Louie as Rocky and the community at large taught him what we all need to know.

Phillip Walleystack and Raewyn Caisley’s text is simple and easy to understand as they walk you through various aspects of the Indigenous culture. Their tone is gentle, encouraging and enlightening as they teach the reader how to care for the environment and land we all call home, as well as how to create and use traditional tools such as the hunting boomerang, about the importance of cultural songs and dances and about the preparation of the tucker that we all love to eat.  Despite using no more than roughly four sentences per page, the pair have created a powerful and heartwarming story about family and the bonds that ground us that will live on long after the final page has been turned.

Dub Leffler’s illustrations are exceptional. While paying respect to the indigenous beliefs regarding photographs, his illustrations feel picture-perfect, almost as though they are a snapshot of a family that could be your neighbours. His linework is tremendous, and you can see the emotion etched in every line of their faces. Everything from the colour palette, to the placement, and emotion captured is perfect. This book is absolutely stunning.

Rocky and Louie is a really sweet book about the relationship between brothers andIndigenous Australians and the land. It’s a powerful story full of heart and soul, and it’s a story I recommend to everyone.

 

To purchase a copy of Rocky and Louie, visit the following online retailers:

PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE AUSTRALIA | Amazon AUS | ANGUS & ROBERTSONBooktopia | BOOK DEPOSITORY | Dymocks | QBD

 

To learn more about Phil Walleystack, visit the following social media pages:

AUTHOR WEBSITE | Instagram | Facebook | YOUTUBE

To learn more about Raewyn Caisley, visit the following social media sites:

Author Website | Facebook | Goodreads 

 

To learn more about Dub Leffler, visit the following social media sites:

 Facebook  | GOODREADS

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