December 29 2020

Bindi by Kirli Saunders and Dub Leffler


Bindi, by Kirli Saunders and Dub Leffler

Title: Bindi
Author: Kirli Saunders
Illustrator: Dub Leffler
Genre/ issues: Middle grade. Verse novel. Indigenous relationship to the land and environment. Family. Bushfires.

Shop local where you can: For Australian readers, you can find this book on Booktopia, or support your local independent bookstore. US readers, check out

What a wonder this book is! Bindi by Kirli Saunders is illustrated by Dub Leffler and it’s as beautiful as you’d expect from his work. In Leffler’s signature muted, detailed style, the illustrations create an embracing sense of the land and community that fill the narrative. And what a narrative it is. An upper-middle grade verse novel, Bindi tells the story of a family and community impacted by the spectre of bushfires.
The use of Gundungwarra language as an inherent part of the way that Bindi sees and talks about her family, traditions and community is a powerful signal as to one of the key concepts of this book – how integral Indigenous culture is to our First Nations people, and by extension, how integral it should be to the way we (non-Indigenous) see and treat the land on which we live. I found this books incredibly moving, and I highly recommend it.
Often books that deal with potentially complex and sensitive subject matter such as this for younger readers can feel heavy-handed, preachy, or overly mature, but there’s a subtlety and sensitively to Kirli’s poetry that balances the serious and the light-hearted so incredibly well. Great for the upper primary readers in your life, right through to adult. A multilayered visual and poetic feast.

#TamaraReads #2020readingchallenge 108/100

Happy reading,




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Posted December 29, 2020 by Tamara Reads in category Book chat, Children's Books, Poetry

About the Author

She/her. On Whadjuk Noongar land. NSWPRC Officer, Teacher Librarian, English teacher and social media advocate. I've been teaching in Western Sydney for my entire teaching career, and love my job more than I love Neil Gaiman. (That's a lot, in case you're wondering!) I stalk authors (but always politely), fangirl over books, and drink coffee. And one of my guilty prides about my children is that they all have favourite authors. All opinions are my own.

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