Carol Robertson has just published her first ever kids’ book, a picture book called Stori bla Brutbrut en Bujigat (Story about Mouse and Cat), published by the Indigenous Literacy Foundation.
Carol is no stranger to creating books for Kriol speakers. She played an important role in the creation of the Kriol Baibul (Kriol Bible), checking over a lot of the translation work done by the large team of translators. In 2020, Allen & Unwin published the Kriol translation of the popular picture book Too Many Cheeky Dogs by Dion Beasley and Johanna Bell and Carol was one of the main translators of that work – called Bigismob Jigiwan Dog in Kriol. Carol also had a central role in the 2021 publication of the Kriol Preya Buk which took of team of 23 translators around 10 years to complete.
Stori bla Brutbrut en Bujigat, however, is Carol’s first original authored published work so we asked her a few questions – in Kriol! – about her first book as an author…
Wanim bin meigim yu jinggabat rait dijan stori? (What made you think about writing this story?)
Wal aibin jinggabat bla rait stori olataim, bat ai nomo bin sabi la hu ai gin gu o hu gin album mi. Dijan stori aibin rait blanga bigininimob la skul en la kemp. Iya langa Ngukurr komuniti melabat tok onli Kriol. Melabat bin lostim mela langgus longtaim. Melabat bin onli tok Kriol feswan langgus en Inggilish en nomo bin lau tok melabat langgus la skul. Aibin rait dijan stori bla brutbrut en bujigat dumaji aibin oldei lukinatbat det katun pitja Tom en Jerry
Translation: Well I’ve always thought about writing a story but I didn’t know who I could go to or who could help me. I wrote this story for kids at school and at home. Here in Ngukurr, we only speak Kriol. Our traditional languages were lost a long time ago. We speak Kriol as a first language and then English and we weren’t allowed to speak our traditional languages at school. I wrote this story about ‘brutbrut en bujigat’ because I’d always watch Tom & Jerry cartoons.
Wanim yu laigiim garra hepin na garram yu buk? Hu yu wandim garra rid yu buk? (What would you like to see happen with your book? Who do you want to read your book?)
Ai wandim ebribodi garra rid dijan stori langa bigininimob la kemp. Titjamob la skul du gin lenim bigininimob bla ridim dijan stori.
Translation: I want everyone to read this story to children at home. Teachers at school can also teach children to read this story.
Yu jinggabat raitim najawan buk? (Are you thinking of writing another book?)
Mi wandim raitimdan mowa buk lagijat, blanga enimulmob, berdmob en fishmob. Maitbi yumob du garram stori!
Translation: I want to write more books like this, about animals, birds and fish. Maybe you mob have stories too!
Wanim yu reken bla ola pitja Karen bin dum? (What do you think of Karen’s illustrations?)
Brabli gudwan! Dumaji ai sabi Karen dro brabli gudwei en aibin luk ol im peinting la Art Centre. Bla tharran na aibin askim im bla dum ola pitja bla dijan buk.
Translation: Really good! Because I know Karen draws really well and I saw her paintings at the Art Centre. That’s why I asked her to do the illustrations for this book.
Wanim “brutbrut”? (What’s a ‘brutbrut’)
La Inggilish im ‘mouse’. Melabat kolim ‘brutbrut’ la Kriol. Langa ebri haus yu gin faindim brutbrut. Langa bush du en insaid trak, hil kantri en plein kantri.
Translation: In English, it’s a ‘mouse’. We call it ‘brutbrut’ in Kriol. In every house you can find a ‘brutbrut’. In the bush too, and inside vehicles, hill country and plain country.
Stori bla Brutbrut en Bujigat is available now (Hardcover, $24.99) from bookstores and our online store!
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