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CHILDREN OF THE GREAT LAKE by Percy Trezise

CHILDREN OF THE GREAT LAKE

By Percy Trezise

Age Range: 4 - 10

Pub Date: Nov. 19th, 1993
ISBN: 0-207-17677-9
Publisher: HarperCollins

 An Australian author who has retold several Aboriginal tales, often in collaboration with Aboriginal author-artist Dick Roughsey, recounts a tale, remembered in Aboriginal oral history, of the huge lake located--before the Ice Age--between what is now Australia and Papua New Guinea. Four cousins are fishing from a walpa (raft) when their anchor rope breaks and the wind carries them to a distant island. There, they competently provide themselves with food and shelter but are menaced by a ``Wonambi,'' a monster snake. Fortunately, they find and can repair a bark canoe, in which they paddle ``towards the rising moon and home.'' Trezise depicts this primeval rite of passage in spare, luminous double spreads, the simple figures of ``the Bird people'' and their animal neighbors decoratively deployed against a pristine, light-filled sky and a lake fringed in grasses and eucalyptus trees. Try pairing this venerable tale with Greene's equally ancient The Legend of the Cranberry (p. 1143). (Folklore/Picture book. 4-10)