THE FLYING FOX WARRIORS GIDJA THE MOON TURRAMULLl THE GIANT QUINKIN by Dick & Percy Trezise Roughsey

THE FLYING FOX WARRIORS GIDJA THE MOON TURRAMULLl THE GIANT QUINKIN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Three of the six titles in Stories of the Dreamtime: Tales of the Aboriginal People, a series from Australia. Roughsey, himself an aboriginal, collaborated with Trezise, a Euro-Australian, in recounting and illustrating these legends. All are stories of origins--of animals, mountains, people--and of magical creatures that are closely related to nature. In the Dreamtime, ""many living creatures were still in human form."" In The Flying Fox Warriors, the ""Bird"" people battle the ""Flying Fox"" people who have stolen their women, and finally burn their camp; the survivors turn themselves into flying foxes--""never again [to] be caught by bush fires""--while their enemies become different kinds of birds. Gidja the Moon is accidentally responsible for the death of his daughter, the morning star, thus introducing death to the world; he escapes to the sky, where his waxing and waning symbolize death and rebirth. In the most exciting of these tales, Turramulli is a terrifying, King Kong-like monster who falls to his death while trying to capture two children. The authenticity of these stories would be enough to recommend them. The retellings are direct and workmanlike, but the illustrations are outstanding: the glorious, broad sky, never twice the same but always with a primeval purity; the flat, tree-studded plain ringed with mountains, where the action takes place; the stark figures, making reference to primitive art. A good introduction to folklore from down under--and fine preparation for reading folklore-based stories such as Patricia Wrightson's. Brief introductions explain the stories' origins and meanings; maps; glossaries.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1988
ISBN: 1-55532-946-2
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Gareth Stevens