Looking After Country with Fire
Written by Victor Steffensen
Illustrated by Sandra Steffensen
Hardie Grant Explore Publishing
Looking After Country with Fire is a picture book for 5- to 10-year-olds that demonstrates respect for Indigenous knowledge, following the success of Victor Steffensen's bestselling adult book Fire Country.
Mother Nature has a language. If we listen, and read the signs in the land, we can understand it.
For thousands of years, First Nations people have listened and responded to the land and made friends with fire, using this knowledge to encourage plants and seeds to flourish, and creating beautiful places for both animals and people to live.
Victor Steffensen is an Indigenous writer, filmmaker, musician and consultant. He is a descendant of the Tagalaka people through his mother's connections from the Gulf Country of north Queensland. Much of Victor's work over the past 27 years has been based on the arts and reviving traditional knowledge values - particularly traditional burning - through mentoring and leadership, as well as on-ground training with Aboriginal communities and many non-Indigenous Australians.
He is a co-founder of Firesticks, an Indigenous-led organisation that aims to re-invigorate the use of cultural burning. Victor's first book, Fire Country, was published in 2020 in the wake of Australia's worst bushfires and has sold over 13,000 copies since its release.
Sandra Steffensen grew up in the small, tropical rainforest village of Kuranda. After then moving to Sydney and living there for 15 years, Sandra moved back to Far North Queensland 13 years ago, lured by her childhood memories and connections to the local landscape. Sandra's maternal grandmother is from the Tagalaka people from the Gulf Country of north Queensland. She teaches Visual Arts specialising in the practice of ceramics. Sandra uses the sgraffito technique to adorn her functional pieces with intricate illustrations of the local landscapes and the wildlife inhabiting them to remind us of the beauty and the role they play in this world.
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