A spotlight on Bindi by Kirli Saunders

Bindi by Kirli Saunders, and illustrated by Dub Leffler, is one of the six books shortlisted for this year’s Readings Children’s Book Prize.

Here’s everything you need to know about this beautifully crafted verse novel that touches on climate, conservation, community and Country.

‘In 2019 Kirli Saunders won the inaugural Daisy Utemorrah Award for an unpublished book of children’s or YA fiction for this work, and we could immediately see why. This is a children’s verse novel and the story is told through short individual poems, all of which are immediately accessible, not just as a story but also as an introduction to how captivating poetry can be. Although there is a glossary at the back, the Gundungurra words are seamlessly blended into story. Through Bindi’s eyes, young readers will appreciate the importance of taking care of this country.’

Clare Millar, Chair of the judging panel

Who should read this book?

Bindi is suitable for ages 9+. Young readers who are enthusiastic about art, sport, nature, horses, the environment and adventures with friends will all be drawn to this wonderful story. It’s also a great read for kids who love poetry, or would like to get into poetry.

Look out for…

Kirli has eight forthcoming titles (!), all of which are still a little bit secret. You should definitely check out her picture book The Incredible Freedom Machines, in which a young girl discovers her very own freedom machine that helps her break boundaries and travel to wondrous places.

Meet the author…

Kirli Saunders is a proud Gunai Woman and award-winning international writer of poetry, plays and picture books. She is a teacher, cultural consultant and artist. In 2020, Kirli was named the NSW Aboriginal Woman of the Year. Watch this great Story Talk with Kirli Saunders where she talks about how her experience of planting she-oak trees to protect black cockatoos (Garrall) and a season of bushfires helped inspire Bindi.

The winner of the 2021 Readings Children’s Book Prize will be announced in April. You can read more about this year’s shortlisted titles here.



Kirli Saunders, Dub Leffler

$16.99Buy now

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