Monday, September 30, 2013
Rainbow Bird: An Aboriginal Folktale from Northern Australia by Eric Madden, Illus. by Adrienne Kennaway, 1993.
This pourquoi story tells of Rainbow Bird, who, during the Dreamtime, took fire from the selfish Crocodile Man and shared it with the people. Crocodile Man kept the all fire to himself, until watchful Bird Woman changed things and banned him from the land, telling him to make his home in the water. Then Bird Woman put some firesticks into her tail and became the beautiful Rainbow Bird.
Adrienne Kennaway has provided bright watercolor illustrations for the story. Orange is the predominant color, from the sand and rocks of Crocodile Man's original home to the flames he can shoot from his mouth to the fur of fleeing kangaroos. Humble grey Bird Woman transforms into tropical colored Rainbow Bird, flipping rainbow stripes from her tail as she flies. Crocodile Man is large and toothy, making an impressive villain for brave Bird Woman/Rainbow Bird to defeat.