cover image Dreamtime: Aboriginal Stories

Dreamtime: Aboriginal Stories

Oodgeroo, Oodgeroo Noonuccal. HarperCollins Publishers, $16 (95pp) ISBN 978-0-688-13296-5

Australian Aboriginal author Oodgeroo capably recounts 27 stories, some based on her childhood, some on Dreamtime myths. Accounts of children going hunting, of Oodgeroo struggling with her teachers over her lefthandedness, and of her parents' resourcefulness and principles balance legends of the creation of the world by the rainbow serpent and explanations of custom. Fresh, intricately patterned illustrations recall traditional Aboriginal painting but also incorporate abstracted figures in solid black; the artist, incidentally, is also Aboriginal. Although the stories trail off, ending with several less interesting entries about trees, this generous collection provides a fascinating and personal introduction to Aboriginal culture. Ages 8-up. (Aug.)