"A library book, I imagine, is a happy book." Cornelia Funke

"Everything puts me in mind of a story." Ben Franklin

Saturday, October 5, 2013

The Rainbow Serpent

The Rainbow Serpent by Dick Roughsey, 1975. This North American edition 1988.
This edition of The Rainbow Serpent includes an introduction and a glossary, making the story easier for American readers  to understand. From the introduction, we learn that according to Aborginal mythology, the earth was originally flat and featureless and was populated only by humans. In the story, during the Dreamtime, the Rainbow Serpent Goorialla woke up and began to search for his people, crawling over Australia from south to north and creating mountains, gorges, creeks and rivers with his body as he moved. When he found his people, he was welcomed, and he taught them how to dance and what to wear. Trouble began, however, when a storm gathered and the Bil-bil brothers came looking for shelter. This legend goes on to explain how some of the original people changed themselves into animals, birds, insects and plants and how Goorialla's eye became Halley's Comet. It emphasises that we must now look after those who changed into animals, etc. because they were once people too, during the Dreamtime.
Dick Roughsey's illustrative style is very  much like his work in The Giant Devil- Dingo, with a similiar color palette and character depiction. The Rainbow Serpent is gigantic, striped with blue, green, gold and red, with horns, a protruding tongue and a inexpressive face. 

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