First Peoples • First Sciences

The First Sunrise
Nessa Stevens, illustrated by Charmaine Ledden-Lewis

Hardback | Apr 2025 | Magabala Books | 9781922777553 | 32pp | 250x250mm | GEN | AUD$27.99, NZD$32.99

Age range 4 to 10

Kangaroo and Emu make the first boomerang and see the first sunrise.

Now there are days and nights … And people can find their way across Country.

The First Sunrise is a Mbabaram creation story from Mbabaram Country in Far North Queensland and is an engaging and beautiful book for curious minds.

The story centres around the Creator Spirit, Mulungh, directing Emu and Kangaroo how to make the first returning boomerang, which, when thrown, causes the sun to arc across the sky, forming the creation of day and night. The arrival of the first sunrise teaches Emu and Kangaroo how to read shadows, follow directions and understand the orbit of the earth around the sun, making this book perfect for use in the classroom.

This story was told to Nessa by her father, Colin Alec Stevens (Alick Chalk), who lived traditionally in the Aboriginal Camps of Irvinebank, Bakerville and Watsonville in North Queensland, from 1901 to 1916. His learnings and stories, remain important to Mbabaram culture, language and identity.

The First Sunrise is the inaugural title in the new Magabala series First Peoples • First Sciences — children’s picture books that pair fun science with First Nations knowledge.