Uluru: Australia's Aboriginal Heart

Overview

In the middle of the Australian continent, a huge sandstone rock rises more than a thousand feet from the flat desert floor. Formerly known as Ayers Rock, this imposing landmark is now called Uluru, the name given to it by the Anangu, the Aboriginal people who live on the land around it. A site of ongoing geological processes and exceptional beauty, it is unlike any other place in the world. In her signature concise and accessible style, award-winning author Caroline Arnold discusses Uluru’s role as a sacred site...

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Overview

In the middle of the Australian continent, a huge sandstone rock rises more than a thousand feet from the flat desert floor. Formerly known as Ayers Rock, this imposing landmark is now called Uluru, the name given to it by the Anangu, the Aboriginal people who live on the land around it. A site of ongoing geological processes and exceptional beauty, it is unlike any other place in the world. In her signature concise and accessible style, award-winning author Caroline Arnold discusses Uluru’s role as a sacred site for the Anangu and how the plants and animals that are part of its natural environment are an integral part of their traditional way of life. She describes the geologic processes that formed the rock’s distinctive shape and red color, the land and climate of the central Australian desert, and how wildlife has adapted to the extreme conditions. Arthur Arnold’s dramatic full-color photographs highlight the unique features and rich colors of the landscape. The area is protected as a United Nations World Heritage Site. In recognition of the rock’s significance to the Aboriginal culture, the Australian government has created the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, which is visited each year by thousands of people from all over the world. Glossary, pronunciation guide, index.

Describes Uluru, formerly known as Ayers Rock, in Australia's Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, its plant and animal life, and the country's Aboriginal people for whom the site is sacred.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"absorbing tour of Uluru...communicates great respect...a first-rate introduction to one of the planet's most awe-inspiring natural features." KIRKUS REVIEWS Kirkus Reviews

"ancient place, living people, and natural history...spectacular shots...the cover is a knockout...at once thoughtful and alluring." THE HORN BOOK Horn Book

"Arnold hits all the bases...reminds readers that naturalist pursuits cannot be carried out in an asocial vacuum...a welcome resource" THE BULLETIN OF THE CENTER FOR CHILDREN'S BOOKS The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"book's greatest accomplishment...a sense of the ongoing spiritual importance of Uluru...photos...illustrating the text with beauty and finesse." BOOKLIST Booklist, ALA

"colorful guide...offers good examples of the relationship between the Aboriginal people and the land, and...use of its resources." SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL School Library Journal

Children's Literature
Uluru is a tremendous rock rising more than one thousand feet high in the Petermann Aboriginal Reserve in the continent of Australia. The sandstone formation is a sacred site to the native Anangu people. The first chapter tells the story of the rock which is now a favorite tourist site and the subsequent chapters branch out, describing the desert in which it is located. Fascinating facts and pictures about the geology, the general landscape and the birds and animals able to make their homes in the desert fill the pages. The history of Uluru and the traditions of the native people are covered and one segment is devoted to the care and protection of the land. So, although the title may lead the student to think that this book is only about Uluru, it is about much more, offering an overview of an entire region and the inhabitants. A detailed glossary and pronunciation guide is included. 2003, Clarion Books/Houghton Mifflin Company, Ages 8 to 12.
— Carolyn Mott Ford
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-This colorful guide provides a glimpse of Aboriginal heritage as well as physical descriptions of the central desert region of Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) in Australia's Northern Territory. These sites, which are now part of a national park, are sacred to the Anangu, and Arnold provides a brief overview of the history and beliefs of "Australia's First People." The concept of Tjukurpa, a view of the world and its creation as well as the laws that govern daily life, is explained, and the author points out physical features of the rock formations that are related to events that occurred during the creation time. Other chapters discuss the formation's geological history, the plants and animals that live there and in the surrounding region, and the desert climate. The text offers good examples of the relationship between the Aboriginal people and the land, and their use of its resources. The writing is lucid and logical. All of the full-color photographs are appropriately labeled, but some are slightly out of focus. The index is useful, but it omits some important words, e.g., mulga and wallaby. An adequate resource for libraries with a need for information about this region and its inhabitants.-Paul J. Bisnette, Silas Bronson Library, Waterbury, CT Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
In this absorbing tour of Uluru (formerly known as Ayer's Rock) and Kata Tjuta, the similar but lesser-known formation nearby, veteran naturalist Arnold not only provides a systematic account of the area's geology and wildlife, she communicates great respect for its profound cultural and religious significance to the aboriginal Anangu clans that live nearby. Towering over a thousand feet above ground, and extending perhaps three miles below, russet Uluru is the largest single rock on Earth-and, as the sharp color photographs here prove, a spectacular sight in all lights. Arnold summarizes some of the Anangu stories associated with its formations, then goes on to a study of its history, and of the diverse community of plants and animals surrounding it, supplying both European and tongue-twisting Anangu names. She closes with a look at environmental conservation efforts in this National Park and World Heritage Site, and a reiteration of its cultural importance. The Anangu's near-constant presence in the text is not reflected in the pictures, which are nearly devoid of human figures-still, this makes a first-rate introduction to one of the planet's most awe-inspiring natural features. (index) (Nonfiction. 10-13)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618181810
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 10/20/2003
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Edition description: None
  • Pages: 64
  • Age range: 8 - 11 Years
  • Lexile: 1180L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.25 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.13 (d)

Meet the Author

Caroline Arnold always loved books, but as a child she never thought of writing as a career. Born in Pittsburgh, she grew up in Minneapolis and studied art at Grinnell College and the University of Iowa. "It was only after my children were born that I became acquainted with children's books and it occurred to me that I could use my training to become a children's book illustrator. I soon realized that I needed a text to go with the pictures, and the more I wrote, the more I realized that I liked writing as much as or more than drawing. I've always been fascinated by the natural world and love to go to the parks and museums. Perhaps that is why so many of my books are about scientific topics." Arnold is now the award-winning author of more than 100 books for children. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, a neuroscientist, and teaches writing at UCLA Extension. For more information visit www.carolinearnoldbooks.com.

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