THE GIANT DEVIL-DINGO by Dick Roughsey

THE GIANT DEVIL-DINGO

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Dick Roughsey, an aboriginal Australian, reports in an appendix that in the lore of his people only the dingo began as such; the other animals were all humans first. Here Roughsey retells a legend of the dingo's unique origin, from the bones of a primeval devil dog owned by a mysterious old ""grasshopper woman"" (pictured as human) and killed by the two young boys (called ""butcher-bird brothers"") she has sent the dingo out to chase. The appendix might better have been a preface; in any case a few sentences' briefing on aboriginal mythology would help prepare the way for the grasshopper woman and bird brothers. But the chase and basic situation (in Europe the hungry pursuers would be a witch and her familiar) are as easy to grasp as the peculiarly Australian flavor is authentic. And despite the sameness of the scenes--repetitive in scale, perspective and color--Roughsey's flat, clay colored paintings (with dabs of green for foliage) are the more effective for their amateur look--especially where that huge-tongued, red-eyed dingo opposes the small, faceless, dimly differentiated humans.

Pub Date: Oct. 27th, 1975
Publisher: Macmillan