In this book the author has collected and elegantly retold 10 stories of the Dreamtime, the era in which, according to the beliefs of the Aboriginal Australians, the ancestral Spirit Beings formed Creation. In these stories you will find how Great Mother Snake created and peopled the earth with plants and other creatures, how the Kangaroo got its pouch, how the mountain came to be, and just why the platypus is so special. After each story there is a brief section giving factual information about the animals in the stories, and their place in the Australian ecosystem. Each story is beautifully and distinctively illustrated by well known aboriginal artist and storyteller Francis Firebrace. The book closes with a brief factual section about the Aboriginal Australian, a glossary of unusual Australian terms, and a chart of Aboriginal symbols and their meanings.
Similar to the "Just So Stories" by Rudyard Kipling, these collected tales are pourquoi stories, explaining the world according to the beliefs of the Australian Aborigines. Told for thousands of years around the campfires, stories from this culture have been recently collected by Aboriginal storytellers, to be preserved in written form. In this collection, the stories retain their exotic flavor, thanks to the elegance of the language, and the careful preservation of references to the cultural heritage from which they sprang. The tales are greatly enhanced and enriched by the beautiful illustrations of Firebrake, who uses the distinctive designs, symbols, and colors of the Aboriginal people. The result is a book that is not only informative, but is a delight to the eye and the ear of the reader. A fantastic addition to any collection, and especially useful for multicultural studies.
Recommended by Linda Lucke , Learning Center Director.