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Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite
Whistle for a Possum: And Other Papuan Tales, translated and written by Barbara Lunow, is set against the backdrop of Papua, Indonesia. The author revolves her stories around the Sough tribe that lives in the far western part of the island of New Guinea. The book speaks about the culture, stories, and folktales of the place, and the fun language exercises give readers more insight about the tribe and their way of life. The author brings the Sough language to the forefront through the stories, keeping the language and culture alive, and making the younger generation there realize the importance of their culture and language, especially for future generations.
Every story in the book tells the reader more about the Sough tribe, and the questions at the end of each story will make readers contemplate more on the author’s words. The stories are interactive and readers can participate along with the author’s words. The black and white pictures throw more insight on the tribe and the place, enabling readers to understand the author and her words more effectively. The book is a good bedtime storybook and can be used for interactive sessions in classrooms and school libraries. Books like this teach child readers new things about tribes, languages, and cultures in other countries. The stories are beautifully executed and the author’s elegant and simple style of expression leaves an impression on the minds of young readers.