My name is Marisa. I am a fiction writer, a blogger, and a freelance journalist.
Published April 8th 2018
I'm Australian Too has a look at Australia's rich diversity
Fox & Ghosh
I'm Australian Too is a children's picture book written by esteemed Australian children's book writer Mem Fox and illustrated by Ronojoy Ghosh. It was published by Scholastic and released in March 2017. It is suitable for kids 5 years old and up.
I'm Australian Too explores Australia's multi-cultural heritage and our history of immigration. It is written in rhyming verse and has a really inclusive heart-warming lesson to teach to kids and that is it doesn't matter where we come from or what language we speak or what colour our skin is. We are all Australian.
Mem Fox wrote I'm Australian Too in response to what she called the "ghastly" policies of the Australian Immigration department. Saddened by the refugee crisis and wanting to make a statement of her own, Mem got the idea to write a "lovely and friendly" book about a kinder and much more positive Australia.
The book opens with "I'm Australian. How about you?"
On each page, we meet a different Australian.
We meet an Australian who was born in Melbourne, an Aboriginal boy whose mob has been here forever, and Australians with Irish, Italian, Greek and Syrian roots.
Every Australian has a positive attitude and is bursting with pride and love for the country that welcomed them with openness and warmth and understanding.
And then we get to the last page.
I'm Australian Too has a strong pro-refugee sentiment. It made me tear up a little.
Mem Fox does a wonderful job of humanising refugees in this book. On her website, she talks in depth about the book and how she hopes that one day Australia will return to be a kinder nation that will open its arms to refugees again, so that one day they too will be able to say with a smile on their face that they are Australian too.