Similar to other picture books in Gregg Dreise’s morality tales series inspired by the knowledge of the Elders, 'Cunning Crow' is set in the Dreamtime 'Way back before Once-upon-a-time'. Then all the birds were white, including cunning crow Waan until a magical rainbow fire transformed the cockatoo’s crest into magnificent yellow. The lorikeets, budgerigars and others also changed colour. Waan turned red and yellow before the rain extinguished the rainbow fire but he wanted to be the best and devised a cunning plan that backfired, leaving his feathers black.
This tale provides opportunity for a full colour palette to depict the rainbow and the birds’ bright feathers. The endpapers and partial page borders extend the vibrancy. Some words from Gamilaraay and Yuwaalaraay languages are included in this story dedicated to people of different shapes, sizes and colours – like the rainbow.
Gregg Dreise’s ancestors are the Kamilaroi and Yuwalayaay people of south-west Queensland and north-west NSW.
Gregg Dreise has created a series of picture books described as ‘morality tales inspired by wise sayings and the knowledge of Aboriginal Elders’. These titles include: ‘Silly Birds’; ‘Kookoo Koobaburra’; ‘Mad Magpie’; and ‘Cunning Crow’.