Award-winning First Nations author Helen Milroy AM is back with her new picture book Crow Baby
Tell us about your new book Crow Baby
Crow Baby is a story about a baby born with two spirits, one crow and one human. It creates a dilemma for the crow clan and the human family so let’s see how they sort it out and what it means.
You dedicated the book to your Nana Daisy. Tell us more about her and why she was such an important person in your life.
Nana was such a lovely woman, so gentle, sweet and funny. She looked after me and taught me a lot growing up. Her totem is a crow and this story is about how Nan always looked after everyone.
Crow Baby has to make an enormous sacrifice for the good of the community – giving up one physical form for another, but able to travel between the two in dreams. What was the inspiration behind this story?
I wondered what it would be like to be born with the spirit of our totems, how it would work. I also wanted to tell the story about how we can still feel connected but in different ways, physical and spiritual.
You write in the book, ‘These times were unpredictable and unique – anything was possible’, which is a wonderful way to look at children’s books, and stories in general. How important are stories as a gateway for kids to make their dreams possible?
Storytelling is the best way to instil hope. It allows our imagination and creativity to come up with unique and different possibilities. There is no limit to what we can imagine, so for children trying to overcome adversity or just finding their way in the world, storytelling makes it possible to see a better future, to be successful. No one can take that away from you.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I hope our readers enjoy the book and think about how we can always stay close and connected to our loved ones, families and the natural world around us.