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Much-loved children's classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar translated into six First Nations languages

Callan Morse -

Australians from multiple generations would be familiar with children's picture book The Very Hungry Caterpillar from their former years.

Now Indigenous children will be able to enjoy the classic in language, with the Eric Carle's text being published in multiple First Nations languages.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar has been translated to six First Nations languages and published by non-for-profit, The Indigenous Literacy Foundation.

The text is now available in First Nations languages including Murrinhpatha, Karwar, Kriol, Pitjantjatjara, Dhuwaya, and Aboriginal English.

The publications are part of Indigenous Literacy Foundation's translation rights project, where ILF collaborate with often remote Indigenous communities to translate and produce copies of texts in language.

Often children's books are chosen to provide young Indigenous children with the opportunity to read popular titles in language.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar is one of three texts that made Better Reading's Top 50 Kids' Books for 2022 that the Indigenous Literacy Foundation have published in language this year.

Where is the Green Sheep? written by Mem Fox and illustrated by Judy Horacek was published in Kriol and Pitjantjatjara, with Nick Bland's The Very Cranky Bear also published in Kriol in August of this year.

Other translations published by ILF this year include Run Like a Rabbit by Alison Lester in Garawa, and What's That Noise? by Sally Rippin and illustrated by Lorette Broekstra in Garawa and Kriol.

Translated texts are often used in ILF's Book Buzz initiative, a program which targets early literacy whilst focusing on First Nations language.

Texts translated by ILF are also included in their Book Supply program, which this year alone has donated more than 120 000 books to remote Indigenous communities.

The Indigenous Literacy so far have published 66 texts in language, many of which are commercially available through their online shop.

With the support of the Wylie Foundation and the Geneva-based Magic Libraries Foundation, a further six translated versions of The Very Hungry Caterpillar are planned for 2023.

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