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RAINBOW BIRD by Eric Maddern


An Aboriginal Folktale from Northern Australia

adapted by Eric Maddern & illustrated by Adrienne Kennaway

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-316-54314-4
Publisher: Little, Brown

From the adapter of The Fire Children (p. 788), a tale that explains how man came to possess fire. A drab but determined parrot snatches a firestick from Crocodile Man, its sole owner, while he's sleeping; the magnanimous bird flies ``around the country putting Fire into the heart of every tree'' so that people can make fire from dry wood. In the process, she becomes rainbow-colored, as she is today. A simple story, tightly told, and best read aloud to savor its sounds and rhythms. As in Hadithi's Baby Baboon (p. 661), Kennaway's paintings are brilliantly colored, dramatic, large, and clear—ideal for use with groups. Close inspection is rewarding, too, revealing termite mounds in the bare red soil and little green ants busy in the branches of a tree. There hasn't been a scarier crocodile since the one that ate Captain Hook. (Folklore/Picture book. 4-8)