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Maureen Jipiyiliya Nampijinpa O’Keefe grew up in the remote community of Ali Curung in the NT. Her family lived a bush life. They didn’t own much but her mother had a very special ‘elephant’. It was her mother’s most prized possession and she gave it tender loving care. When her mother’s friends were around, they had tea-parties with the elephant. Often her mother would sleep with it beside her bed.
Christina Booth’s splendid illustrations of desert landscapes and bush life deepen the mystery of the elephant, only revealing subtle clues to its true identity. The reader is beguiled by the storytelling until the elephant is finally revealed.
Maureen Jipiyiliya Nampijinpa O’Keefe is a natural storyteller and conveys warmth and humour in her writing. Mum’s Elephant will intrigue children and remind adult readers of the simple things that held a special charm when they were young.
"Debut author Maureen Jipyiliya Nampijinpa O’Keffe has created something truly magical. This is a story that makes you feel. It makes you remember, and that is a very powerful thing. Christina Booth’s illustrations, too, add to the magic — the red dirt, the smoke from a campfire, the shadows from the trees that play over blankets as Mum lies in the shade. Stunning details that bring the story to life."
— Shaye Wardrop, Kids' Book Review
"...delightful tale based on the author’s childhood."
— Sunday Herald Sun