Title: Tom Tom
Author: Rosemary Sullivan
Illustrator: Dee Huxley
Rosemary Sullivan was born in Darwin and grew up on a property near Adelaide River in the Northern Territory. After attending Batchelor Area School and then Clayfield College, Brisbane, she worked for several years as a journalist. At just 20 years of age she had her mid-life crisis, and changed careers, training at the Northern Territory University (now Charles Darwin University) to become a primary teacher. Rosemary has a particular interest in indigenous education, and for the past 17 years has worked in regional and remote schools in the Top End of the Northern Territory, including several one teacher schools. Currently she is the Teaching Principal of a small school on a cattle station 200 km south-west of Darwin, which is part of the Top End Group School. She believes children’s books need to celebrate the innocence and joys of childhood, and pursues her interest in writing amidst a full-time professional career, single-handedly raising twins, and helping out (however slightly) at her family’s cattle station. In the dedication Rosemary says, Tom Tom “ is dedicated to the memory of Marie-Louise Yanthalarr Minjin, and to all the Tom Toms I have taught, and who have taught me. Thank you. RJS”.
Dee Huxley has been illustrating picture books for many years and is now one of the most popular and well-known illustrators in Australia. Dee studied design and craft at the National Art School, East Sydney. After graduating she taught visual arts in secondary schools in Australia and London, and later worked as a graphic designer for television. A freelance illustrator since 1976, her work is displayed in galleries nationally and
internationally. Three of her books, Mr. Nick’s Knitting (1989), Rain Dance (2001), and You and Me Our Place (2008) were short-listed for the Children’s Book Council of Australia Picture Book of the Year Award. Dee lives in Sydney and teaches illustration and design part-time. She uses a wide range of media and techniques, and changes her style to suit the mood and subject of each picture book.
Tom Tom is a warm, simple story about a small boy, Tom Tom, who lives with his large extended family in an Aboriginal community in the Top End of the Northern Territory. The story follows Tom Tom as he plays and swims and dives with his sisters and brothers and cousins. He has lunch with his Granny Annie in the bottom camp, and spends the night with Granny May and grandfather Joe in the top camp. He goes to pre-school, where he makes up stories and paints pictures about his own world – making and cooking damper, just like Granny May makes for his supper; and painting a picture of the black cockatoos. Rosemary Sullivan's simple text and Dee Huxley's vivid illustrations capture the warmth and security of Tom Tom's world and highlights the importance of family and interconnectedness in Aboriginal life.
Tom Tom has a simple, straight-forward narrative structure.On the first pages the reader is introduced to Tom Tom, his mother, and his many, many other relatives. The story then follows Tom Tom through a sequence of events, with scenes introduced through the use of transitional language, ‘Every day…’, ‘When he is tired from swimming…’, ‘When he wakes up…’, ‘At preschool…’. The warm relationships between Tom Tom and his family are simply conveyed, ‘Sometimes his mother calls him Tom, and sometimes she calls him Tommy’, ‘…and all his other relatives call him tom Tom’, ‘He snuggles up with granny May and Grandfather Joe’. The language is lyrical, ‘(The children) swing way, way out and fall SPLASH into the cool clear water of the spring. And also introduces elements of humour, ‘The water in the Lemonade Springs tastes just like – water.’
Dee Huxley used pastel, gesso and coloured pencils for the illustrations in Tom Tom. Each double page spread bleeds to the edge of the page. This technique, and the use of warm earth tones of sienna, ochre and orange, and sparkling blue, turquoise and green, of the springs underlines the significance of land and water in the lives of Tom Tom and his family. Dee Huxley draws the characters with loose, fluid lines - often as faint, distant images. Her images beautifully and simply capture the strong bonds of kinship within this small community. For example, the picture of Tom Tom and Granny Annie waving to each other as he and his dog approach her house; the picture of Tom Tom snuggled up between Granny May and Grandfather Joe; and the pictures of the children heading for, and playing in the Lemonade Springs. Dee Huxley uses different perspectives in her illustrations to capture the intimacy of Tom Tom’s life against the sweeping breadth of the land and sky. Several pictures provide expansive landscape views, while others focus closely on Tom Tom. The endpapers provide an aerial view of the setting.
DISCUSSION POINTS AND ACTIVITIES
Web site to visit: http://www.workingtitlepress.com.au
Author of the text: indicated on the source document of the above text
If you are the author of the text above and you not agree to share your knowledge for teaching, research, scholarship (for fair use as indicated in the United States copyrigh low) please send us an e-mail and we will remove your text quickly. Fair use is a limitation and exception to the exclusive right granted by copyright law to the author of a creative work. In United States copyright law, fair use is a doctrine that permits limited use of copyrighted material without acquiring permission from the rights holders. Examples of fair use include commentary, search engines, criticism, news reporting, research, teaching, library archiving and scholarship. It provides for the legal, unlicensed citation or incorporation of copyrighted material in another author's work under a four-factor balancing test. (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use)
The information of medicine and health contained in the site are of a general nature and purpose which is purely informative and for this reason may not replace in any case, the council of a doctor or a qualified entity legally to the profession.
The texts are the property of their respective authors and we thank them for giving us the opportunity to share for free to students, teachers and users of the Web their texts will used only for illustrative educational and scientific purposes only.
All the information in our site are given for nonprofit educational purposes