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Showing posts from December 17, 2013

Do early Australian fairy tales interest children today?

Or does their appeal remain fixed in the era they were written? Hart (1950) made the point that, ‘books flourish when they answer a need and die when they do not’ (285) and it is worth considering for example the fairytales of Tarella Quin whose fairy tale books were reprinted numerous times. Quin (aka Quin Daskein), published her first fairy tale, Gum Tree Brownie in 1907[1] with enlargements and variations appearing with regularity in 1918, 1925, 1934 and 1983. Perhaps, the reason is that her publisher - still publishing one hundred years later allowed the opportunity for re-publishing out-of-print books if it was believed that public taste indicated a book may become popular again.
However, when Gum Tree Brownie was republished as The Other Side of Nowhere: Fairy Stories of the Never Never (1983) two stories that did not suit the current socio-cultural world were omitted. Cruelty and death are not seen as suitable topics for children’s books today - or at least not in the way they w…