"Little Bird sings the world alive, flies with Cloud, travels with Wind, nestles with Moon and dreams of flying among the stars."

Little Bird’s Day by Sally Morgan and Johnny Warkatja Malibirr shares the story of a day in the life of a Little Bird.    
Little Bird’s Day is published by Magabala Books (2019). Johnny Warkatja Malibirr’s illustrations for the story were awarded the inaugural Kestin Indigenous Illustrator Award, identifying new talent in the art of children’s picture book illustrations.  
The award winning illustrations form part of the State Library’s collection of artwork from Australian picture books. You can view all the digitised original artwork and colour test palettes on the State Library catalogue. 

About the illustrator and author 

Johnny Warrkatja Malibirr is a Yolnu man from the Ganalbingu clan and is known for his paintings of Ganalbingu song lines as well as his mother’s Wagilak clan stories. Along with other members of his clan Johnny keeps culture strong through painting, song dance and ceremony. He travelled to Canberra in 2000 and performed at the official opening of Aboriginal Modern Worlds Exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia. Johnny lives in the remote East Arnhem land community of Gapuwiyak, where he is the Chair of the Gapuwiyak Culture and Arts Aboriginal Corporation.   
Sally Morgan belongs to the Palyku people from the Pilbara, Western Australia. She loves writing stories for children and is excited to have such a talented artist as Johnny Warrkatja Malibirr bring her story to life. Sally is the author of the groundbreaking autobiography My Place.


Illustrator Johnny Warrkatja, reading his Little Birds Day book to 'Bapi' class at Gapuwiyak School. Video courtesy of Gapuwiyak Arts and Magabala Books.  

Johnny talks about his illustrations that he made for Little Birds Day story.

Explore more

Hear story teller Bianca Hunt read Little Bird’s Day through the Story Box Library. Story Box Library is a website and free app where children can view and listen to books read by Australian storytellers. A Library card is required to login.

Listen to Dr Kate talk about the Little Bird’s Day illustrations on ABC Radio Perth. 

An exhibition at the State Library showcased Johnny Warrkatja Malibirr’s original illustrations from 11 June – 29 August 2021.

Listen to Dr Kate on ABC Radio Perth as she explores the picture book Little Bird’s Day by Sally Morgan and Johnny Warrkatja Malibirr. The original illustrations for the book are held within the State Library collection.
Original artwork by Johnny Warrkatja Malibirr for A Little Birds Day Here comes Moon
This page last updated on