In appropriately poeticized language, Wood (The Tickleoctopus, 1994, etc.) relates some of the captivating legends of the Chumash Indians--how they were created on the island of Limuw, 40 miles off the coast of Santa Barbara, by Hutash, the earth goddess; how they got fire; and how, having grown too numerous and noisy, some were transplanted onto the mainland over a rainbow bridge. Those who fell while crossing the bridge became dolphins. Florczak displays his virtuosity in the oil illustrations; the closest analogy to his technique would be found in the Pre-Raphaelites. The grandeur of the compositions--the goddess in majestic poses, with her drapery flying about her, the play of light on water and in the sky, the scenes of innocence and beauty in this newly formed world--contributes to an impressive piece of work.