Title: Story Doctors
Author: Boori Monty Pryor
Illustrator: Rita Sinclair
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Boori Monty Pryor captures a sense of calm in his stunning new children’s book, Story Doctors. Pryor takes readers on a linear journey through Australia over the past 80,000 years to learn about the sickness, strengths, and bountiful medicines that exist above and underground. When I say “medicine”, I mean both prescription and the medicine for the soul: stories. Pryor perfectly explains this medicine as found in eco echoes, that is: voices from the past and present that pass down wisdom and stories to the next generation.
When read aloud to your children as you soothe them to sleep, muttered under your breath as you flip through pages, or silently uttered in your mind, the tail rhyme used throughout keeps the flow of the story running beautifully. The idea of the book having a “heartbeat”—as described in the blurb—is undeniable by the rhyme scheme (and it is extremely catchy!). If you wish to hear this story read aloud—and truly hear the rhythm—in Kunggandji or English by Pryor, a QR code in the front matter of the book will lead you to the publisher’s website. To me, hearing an author read their work aloud is amazing and the tone that they use adds more meaning each time I go back for another read. So don’t miss out on listening to Pryor!
Weaved throughout the story are stunning illustrations by Rita Sinclair. While all aspects of the illustrations have a realistic approach, the only abstract imagery is the main character, a human-being created from continuous swirling patterns in black, blue, green, orange, and yellow. Similar to the heartbeat rhythm of the text, the central figure illustration also suggests a rhythm or movement in the story by its continuous swirling form.
A stunning read that emphasises the necessity for people to connect with each other through storytelling because from this connection we can find the medicine for healing within ourselves. Travel through time with Pryor and learn, listen, and heal. A stunning book for children and adults alike.