Books & Literature

Book Review: Super Snake, by Gregg Dreise

PICTURE BOOK: This is the first book in the new ‘Scales and Tails’ series by award-winning children’s book author Gregg Dreise and the first in a new square format.

A beautifully illustrated book which shares a story that is common to different Aboriginal people from southern Queensland to South Australia.

Feature image credit: Magabala Books

Gregg Dreise, a proud descendent of the Goomelroi/Kamilaroi and Euahlayi people, is a story teller, musician and teacher. His “Silly Birds” series of five books have won many awards.  Super Snake is the first in a new series of children’s picture books.

Picking up the book, we can immediately recognise the familiar dot circles that Dreise uses in his illustrations. On the orange/yellow coloured front cover we see a large smiling snake surrounded by these signature circles. The snake has rainbow-coloured scales and dominates the picture. The back cover shows a river, Australian trees like the gum, grass tree, and bottle tree along with a setting sun.

Dreise always delivers with the inside covers of his books. They give us an insight into the story ahead. Immediately, we open the book and find a map of Australia, a river and a large colourful snake. The end of the book is different again. Extra illustrations inside the front and back covers are always a joy, and Dreise’s books just seem to be getting better and better at this!

Super Snake takes us on a journey through the eastern side of Australia in the Dreamtime when there was a drought. Mundegutta Gooriya, the Super Snake, slithers down from the sky on a rainbow and offers to help the elders find water. And so the journey begins, as Mundegutta Gooriya carries them on his back, teaching them about food, and looking after our precious water.

The illustrations are stunning: beautiful landscapes, dot circles, hot sun shining down on everything, and a powerful serpent carving up the land.

Super Snake is perfect for any child’s book collection and a great addition to any school library. It would be perfect to use in a classroom, for an art lesson, for learning about the Rainbow Serpent (one of the most well-known Aboriginal stories), and teaching children about the importance of sharing our resources and caring for the land.

Reviewed by Sue Mauger

The views expressed in this review belong to the author and not Glam Adelaide, its affiliates, or employees.

Distributed by: Magabala Books
Released: February 2024
RRP: $27.99

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