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How the birds got their colours

How the birds got their colours

This Dreaming story is a wonderful way to inspire conversations and deeper understandings of Aboriginal culture and practice.

Author Mary Albert from the Bardi tribe was told this story when she was a young girl by her mother, and in this book the words have been brought to life with bold colourful children’s paintings.

In a world where “all the birds were black – all one colour” a dove becomes injured while feeding. Many of its bird friends try to help and it is the parrot whose beak bursts the dove’s swollen foot that releases splashes of colour all over the birds. This creates birds with all kinds of colours and patterns. Crow who doesn’t help gets “no colour at all!”

When reading this story, invite your children to sit in a circle to enjoy every page, and use each one as an invitation to spark different paths of inquiry.

Children might want to research more about the specific characteristics and habits of birds, or discover and observe different colours in the natural world.

Try experimenting using different materials to create your own depiction of the book and explore how colours are formed.

Avatar: Tina Gaertner
Article author: Tina Gaertner
Graphic Design & Marketing Support

Tina combines her love of graphic design with a master’s degree in adult education. She loves using her creativity and digital expertise to contribute to changing young children’s lives.

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