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Ethel PEDLEY (1860-1898)
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Dot and the Kangaroo is a children's book which is enjoyed by readers of all ages. When Dot is lost in the bush, she is befriended by a kangaroo which has lost it's joey. She then meets many bush creatures including the koala, platypus and many birds.
However, there is more to this story, which deliberately sets out to make a plea for conservation of the bush and its animals--a remarkable objective coming as it did at the end of the nineteenth century.
Pedley was a person of her time and the Australian aborigines are treated unsympathetically. However, the whites also come in for criticism for their attitude towards killing bush creatures.
Ethel Pedley's Preface to Dot and the Kangaroo
To the children of Australia
in the hope of enlisting their sympathies
for the many beautiful, amiable, and frolicsome creatures
of their fair land,
whose extinction, through ruthless destruction,
is being surely accomplished