Magabala Books

Australia’s leading Indigenous publisher Support us

We respectfully caution Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers that this website contains images of people who have passed away.


Big Fella Rain

NOTABLE – 2018 CBCA Picture Book of the Year

SHORTLISTED – 2018 ABIA Small Publishers' Children's Book of the Year

Big Fella Rain
is a celebration of northern Australia as animals, birds, trees and a parched earth await the first rain. It is almost as if country stands still as the sparse yet evocative text pays homage to the transition from dry season to wet season in a country that is like no other place in the world.

Fern Martins illustrations seamlessly portray the dramatic skies, the thirsty animals and tiny creatures whose very existence rely on the monsoonal changes. Her exquisite rendering of the big landscape against the subtle shifts in the environment have a timeless quality that will capture the hearts of all readers.


Praise for Big Fella Rain

"The language is poetic... and the story builds from that first hint of lightning to the raindrops splashing on to the red earth and the reactions of the plants and animals to the arrival of the rain."

CBCA Reading Time 


"Sensory illustrations and words rich with imagery allow the reader to hear and feel that cool relief as the red earth drinks in the precious water and is rejuvenated once more."

Kids' Book Review

Beryl Webber

Beryl Webber is descended from the Gunggari people of southern Queensland. Her father was a dam sinker and she grew up on stations. Her family had a keen awareness of when the ‘big fella rain’ was coming because it often...

Read more

Fern Martins

Fern Martins is an Ngarabul woman from New South Wales. She launched her career at the age of 19 with a one-woman sculptural exhibition and has developed her career as a sculptor, printmaker and artist. In 1988, together with other...

Read more

Other titles by Fern Martins