The Rainbow Serpent (50th anniversary edition)

Dick Roughsey

The Rainbow Serpent (50th anniversary edition)
HarperCollins Publishers (Australia) Pty Ltd
1 May 2024

The Rainbow Serpent (50th anniversary edition)

Dick Roughsey

Dreamtime stories tell how the Rainbow Serpent came from beneath the ground and created huge ridges, mountains and gorges as it pushed upward. The name also reflects the snake-like meandering of water across a landscape and the colour spectrum sometimes caused by sunlight hitting the water.

Renowned author and artist Dick Roughsey's first paintings were on bark using the traditional pigments from soil and black from charcoal. After developing these bark paintings into a form suited to paper, he began to create children's books, including The Rainbow Serpent, an enduring classic that celebrates the paintings of the Rainbow Serpent that first appeared in Arnhem Land rock art more than 6000 years ago.


It’s the 50th anniversary of The Rainbow Serpent! Well, more accurately, it’s probably a little more than the 65,000th anniversary of the Rainbow Serpent. But for many of us, we were only introduced to and have had the privilege of experiencing the story of the Rainbow Serpent as it was written and illustrated 50 years ago by Dick Roughsey, a Lardil artist and storyteller, among many other things.

In The Rainbow Serpent he shares the knowledge of how Goorialla, the Rainbow Serpent, created the mountains and hills and all the living things. First by travelling across the country making mountains and rivers with his huge body, then by thrashing about wildly when he realises he’s been cut open by two brothers who were rescuing some boys he ate.

The story remains as compelling as it was when I first read it as a child, and the superb art is undeniably among the most recognised and loved representations of Australia’s landscape and First Peoples you’ll find. I’m absolutely delighted this story is still available to us and I encourage everyone to revisit it and introduce it to the little ones in their life. For ages 3+.

This item is in-stock at 8 shops and will ship in 3-4 days

Our stock data is updated periodically, and availability may change throughout the day for in-demand items. Please call the relevant shop for the most current stock information. Prices are subject to change without notice.

Sign in or become a Readings Member to add this title to a wishlist.