With years of experience writing childrens books, Audrey Wood knows what makes for a great story. When she decided to write The Rainbow Bridge, she did extensive research, inspired by the Chumash Native American people. In order to bring this story to kids, she took artistic liberties such as adding additional characters and expanding the tale in order to transform it into a story form that kids could understand. And while kids everywhere learn about this legend, it is still passed down among the original tribes themselves.
The Rainbow Bridge is a story of how Hutash, the earth goddess, creates the Chumash. With her wisdom, they learn how to create fire and live from the land. Hutash then created a bridge, one made of a rainbow, for the Chumash to cross upon. They traveled from Limuw to the mainland so they had room to grow and be prosperous. However, when some of the people look down while on the bridge, they grow dizzy and fall in. To save them, Hutash transforms them into dolphins. From then on, the dolphins become the brothers and sisters of the
Chumash tribe and live in the sea happily. Kids will be entranced by the story of the Chumash people. It is imaginative and historical all at once. Wood makes sure to keep the spirit of the original story alive while adding what she needed in order to make it more open to kids. Parents will appreciate the chance to open their kids eyes to other cultures and beliefs through The Rainbow Bridge. Coupled with illustrations by Robert Florczak, it is a rich story.
His amazing illustrations are done in translucent oil glazes and intense skill, creating details and beautiful images, from the dark shadows around the tribe during the night with only the fire for light to Hutash’s long, twisting shawl. The Rainbow Bridge will keep children staring for long periods of time, best for kids ages 6 to 9, though there is nothing to keep older kids from taking a peek inside. This is a story they’ll want to hear this story told again and again.