"The bird hung in the air above the river. It was so low that Luke
could see it clearly, a big nuggetty bird with strong talons and a curving
beak. Its feathers were beautiful - a lovely chestnut colour on the back
and sides, and bright white on the head and breast. The wing tips were
This was the first time Luke had ever seen a Brahminy kite, or sea
eagle. He didn't know then that another Brahminy - a helpless, abandoned
chick - would soon change his whole life.
It is nearing the end of another school year. We have been focussing on text book work mostly this year. But now it is time for refreshment. Time to reintroduce more family read alouds. After spending time combing my bookshelves, I settled on Brahminy. I had pre-read this myself a couple of years ago, and thought that now was a good time to share this story with my two youngest girls.
We settled on the couch. The girls less than enthusiastic, but willing to go along with it because it meant a break from the workbooks. Miss K cautioned, 'Only one chapter today, ok?'. 'Yes dear, only one chapter today', I smiled.
The story opens with a description of the Brahminy Kite that Luke sees as his family is driving toward their new home. His father is a ranger, and is heading to a section of Arnhem Land, to work alongside the traditional owners.
The first chapter introduces us to some of the particulars associated with living in the northern part of Australia. Big rushing tides, flooding, the wet season, waiting, crocodiles, tourists. During this reading, I was taken back to our family holiday a few years ago in the Northern Territory. The pictures came to life and I remembered my own thoughts and feelings as we encountered these different things on our own travels. I truly felt like I was part of the story.
And at the end of the 1st chapter, were the girls relieved to finish? Well, actually, they did want to read on, to find out what happened to the backpacker who fell into the flooded river inhabited by salt-water crocodiles.............. But that poor backpacker will have to survive in the river and fight off the crocs, until we return to him next week.