The Bat and the Crocodile : An Aboriginal Story
Hector Sandaloo, Pamela Lofts, compiler
Ashton Scholastic, 1987
5-8yrs, Lower Primary
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- Children as artists
- Kimberley region (W.A.)
- Western Desert (WA SF51, SF52, SG51, SG52)
Bat is insulted when Lizard relates things that Crocodile has said about him. At the next gathering around the campfire, Crocodile is painted up for a dance. Bat urges him from the shadows to go closer and closer to the light of the flames so that he can be seen. When Crocodile is very close, Bat spears and kills him. Bat is chased to his cave by the other animals, who throw their spears: the marks of which can be seen on the cave to this day. Bat tricks them by bleeding onto the tips of their spears. When they retreat, thinking him dead, he taunts them and they return to try again.
Children from Turkey Creek School (WA) made paintings for this book, which Pamela Lofts adapted into illustrations. Their different use of colours works well - the blood is bright red - and the silhouettes of animals marching up to the cave with spears are very evocative of the overall theme of revenge.
Few words and dramatic pictures are the format for all of the books compiled by Pamela Lofts for this Scholastic series, and these have been many school children’s first introduction to Aboriginal culture in published story form.
Series: Aboriginal story
- The Bat and the Crocodile as Joonba (dance) with further links https://art.uts.edu.au/index.php/warmun-art-centre/
- Bats in the Northern Territory https://nt.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/200006/bats.pdf
- Crocodiles https://australianmuseum.net.au/learn/animals/reptiles/estuarine-crocodile/?gclid=Cj0KCQiAmZDxBRDIARIsABnkbYT8ybFXbpg6onYkBEZeU--5FEH-taSrvMTc2yLwigt_FE37cNF3E-QaAn3xEALw_wcB
- More information about the Warmun community https://www.facebook.com/gijacountry/
- 'The Bat and the Crocodile: An Aboriginal Story' read by Dave Edgren https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFiC7NqC2Ro