28
Mar
11

Alitji in the Dreamtime

Alitji in the Dreamtime: a re-telling of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland story by Nancy Sheppard using Australian Aborigine language and imagery: the white rabbit has become a kangaroo and the dormouse is now a koala.

The story is told in the Pitjantjatjara language of Central Australia ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pitjantjatjara) and is back-translated into English alongside.

The illustrations by Byron Sewell are rather beautifully printed in brown ink: far more elegant than black, especially on the grey-brown of the paper.

Published in 1975 by the University of Adelaide, and available from various sellers on Amazon: Alitji on Amazon

More equivalences:

  • the fan becomes a woomera
  • the caterpillar becomes a witchety grub
  • the Duchess becomes the Spirit of the North Wind
  • the Mad Hatter and the March Hare become a Stockman and a Horse
  • Croquet is played with storks and echindnas

I think this is one of my favourite alternative Alice stories: the tale is well told, the rhymes and verses stand up well and the illustrations are beautiful. It works well as a book on its own merits, and it adds dimensions to the original story. Recommended.

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