WHY DID SIR JOSEPH BANKS HATE BANANAS?

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A new book alerting 9+ years Aussie kids to their historical roots, M is for Mutiny is an alphabetical stroll through the first years of white settlement in this wide brown land.

Elaborately illustrated by Bern Emmerichs and authored by Westsider Newspaper contributor, John Dickson, M is for Mutiny eschews the dusty ‘dates and names’ version of history for a more humanist approach.

An acknowledgment of our First Nations Peoples’ place here opens the book, and their fraught history is revisited throughout. Inflated reputations of so-called ‘discoverers’ are warmly mocked though stories of their sometimes ordinary lives. The importance of women in the new colony is brought to centre stage and the lives of the convict settlers revealed in their tedious cruelty.

As Australian writer Carole Wilkinson put it, ‘Not your average history book. It presents Australia’s unique, and not always illustrious, early history with honesty, insight and humour….I can see kids (and adults too) poring over the pages for hours.’

A timely book to give our young people a starting point for further exploration and an insight into the genesis of ongoing debates around recognition of our first peoples, Australia Day and the disparate views of our history.

Full disclosure: This shameless piece of self-promotion was authored by John Dickson, aka angrytrainguy, aka slightlyangryguy.com, aka John Wordsworth. He is also a dual citizen and a member of GetUp!

Ps. Joe Banks thought bananas were ‘slimey’, but eventually got a taste for the fruit.

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