Dreamtime: Aboriginal Stories

3.98 avg rating
( 49 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780688132965: Dreamtime: Aboriginal Stories

Australia's most famous Aboriginal writer offers reminiscences of her childhood on Stradboke Island off the Queensland coast, communicating her pride in her heritage, and presents a collection of traditional Aboriginal folklore.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

Published in 1993 in Australia as Stradbroke Dreamtime, these 27 stories by an honored Aboriginal writer are divided into ``Stories from Stradbroke,'' memoirs of the author's childhood in the 1920s and '30s on Stradbroke Island off the Queensland coast, and ``Stories from the Old and New Dreamtime,'' Aborigine myths and new stories told in traditional styles (it is not always possible to tell which are which). The ``Stories from Stradbroke'' are most memorable: the taboo shooting of a kookaburra, how a dog caught a shark, left-handed Oodgeroo's miseries in school, the immense pet carpet snake that preyed on Mother's chickens and was even found once in the baby's crib. Aborigine beliefs and values (respect for the earth and its creatures, collective responsibility for the individual) are apparent in the stories, as are discrimination against Aborigines and a strongly male-dominated social order. Half of the ``Dreamtime'' stories are pourquois tales, most of them relating to trees and other plants. There are also creation myths and a lyrical account of how Oodgeroo reclaimed her tribal heritage by writing its stories. Bancroft is an Aboriginal painter and textile designer who combines the conventions of traditional Aboriginal art (humans and animals shown as outlined silhouettes, backgrounds filled with patterns of lines, circles, or dots) with a lushly contemporary palette (aqua, lime, coral, lavender, and peach). Verbally and visually, a rich experience. (Autobiography/Folklore. 8+) -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Booklist:

Gr. 6-10. A combination of traditional and autobiographical tales, this title is divided into two sections. "Stories from Stradbroke" comprises family stories from the author's life on Stradbroke Island off the Queensland coast and reflects the hardships and joys of Aboriginal living under encroaching white civilization. The second section is called "Stories from the Old and New Dreamtime" and includes traditional stories recalled by the author from her youth as well as some new stories written in the traditional format. The illustrator's background as a textile designer is reflected in the bold geometrics, silhouettes, and colors that are present throughout the book. Biographical sketches on both the author (a well-known poet and political activist for Aboriginal rights) and the illustrator reflect their Aboriginal roots, giving insight into their culture and world view. Although this has the look of a picture book, both art and stories are quite sophisticated; the target audience for this is definitely older, perhaps even to high school. Janice Del Negro

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