Stories from the Billabongby James Vance Marshall, Francis Firebrace (Illustrator)
From the author of Walkabout come ten of Australia's ancient aboriginal legends, authentically and elegantly retold. Here you can discover how Great Mother Snake created and peopled the world with plants and creatures, what makes Frogs croak, why Kangaroo has a pouch, and just what it is that makes Platypus so special. The illustrations are by the aboriginal artist
From the author of Walkabout come ten of Australia's ancient aboriginal legends, authentically and elegantly retold. Here you can discover how Great Mother Snake created and peopled the world with plants and creatures, what makes Frogs croak, why Kangaroo has a pouch, and just what it is that makes Platypus so special. The illustrations are by the aboriginal artist and storyteller Francis Firebrace, whose distinctive, colourful work is known throughout Australia and beyond.
With the help of Aboriginal storytellers who have collected the tales and myths of their people, Marshall has assembled 10 fascinating stories of the Dreamtime. Many explain why some things are the way they are: "How the Kangaroo got her Pouch," "Why Frogs can only Croak," and "How the Crocodile got its Scales." Others tell about the creation of the Earth, death, and other universal concerns. Each selection is beautifully told and is illustrated by a traditional artist who uses the distinctive symbols and colors of the Aboriginal people. An informational page follows each retelling, giving readers facts about the subject. Concluding pages offer a brief explanation of who the Aboriginal Australians are and an illustrated spread that explains the symbols and their meanings. This is an engaging, colorful book that belongs in most libraries.-Lee Bock, Glenbrook Elementary School, Pulaski, WI
Meet the Author
James Vance Marshall is also published under the names Ian Cameron and Donald Payne. His most famous book, Walkabout, was first published as The Children, and was later made into a movie by the director Nicholas Roeg. His other books include A River Ran Out of Eden, The Lost Ones (dramatised by Disney as The Island at the Top of the World) and White-Out. He lives in Dorking, SurreyFrancis Firebrace is a 'Wirrigan man', a name given to a wise Aboriginal elder whose songs, including traditional didgeridoo, retell the old stories and speak of freeing the spirit. He is one of Australia's foremost Aboriginal storytellers who has been 'yarning' since he can't remember when and performing at schools, festivals and theatres. He is also a highly respected artist whose works have been displayed throughout the world. He paints in the four colours his people (the Yorta Yorta) have used since the beginning of time: black from fire coals, white from pipe clay, red and yellow from ground ochre, and he mixes these with acrylic to achieve his own distinctive, contemporary effect. Francis lives in Weybridge, Surrey.
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