Stories from the Billabong

Stories from the Billabong


By (author) James Vance Marshall, Illustrated by Francis Firebrace

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  • Publisher: Frances Lincoln Childrens Books
  • Format: Hardback | 64 pages
  • Dimensions: 216mm x 272mm x 14mm | 499g
  • Publication date: 1 May 2009
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1845077040
  • ISBN 13: 9781845077044
  • Illustrations note: full colour illustrations
  • Sales rank: 214,350

Product description

Tens of thousands of years before Tutankhamen was buried in his pyramid, the Yorta-Yorta people -- one of Australia's aboriginal tribes -- told the stories in this volume beside the campfires and waterholes of the Australian desert. Here readers discover how Great Mother Snake created the world and filled it with plants and creatures, what makes Frog croak, why Kangaroo has a pouch, and just what it is that makes Platypus so special. Aboriginal artist and storyteller Francis Firebrace provides the evocative art that has made him known throughout Australia and beyond.

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Editorial reviews

With the permission of Aboriginal storytellers hoping to keep their myths and legends alive, the reteller, most famous for his book Walkabout (1959), has created a collection of ten stories accompanied by information about the flora, fauna and land formations mentioned. The anthology includes stories about the origins of Uluru (once known as Ayers Rock), the kangaroo's pouch, the mountain rose and the scales of the crocodile. Next to the stories, the informational descriptions seem dry, but useful, with their measurements both in the metric system and English units. The glossary, two pages on Aboriginal symbols and a short afterword on the Aboriginal people are good additions to the book. Firebrace is from the Yorta-Yorta group, river people who lived near Victoria, and his paintings of the platypus and the crocodile are especially bold. His images swings from a more traditional Aboriginal style with vibrant colors and distinct, flattened shapes to a softer rendering of flowers and insects. Due to the oral transmission of the stories, no written sources are included. A welcome and important addition to folklore collections. (Folklore. 7-11) (Kirkus Reviews)