'Lost and afraid in the darkening bush, Dot is befriended by a kind Kangaroo. She eats the berries of understanding and is then able to communicate with all the bush creatures, who eventually guide her home.
'The intriguing tale of Dot and her Kangaroo is told by Ethel Pedley with the charm that has made this book an Australian favourite since it was first published in 1899. Now, as then, children will be enthralled by this oldest of Australian classics, it will endure to entertain generations to come.' (Publication summary)
'Creature is a new interactive digital and physical theatre experience based on the much loved Australian story, Dot and the Kangaroo.
'Discover the magical landscape of the Australian bush as you've never seen it before, where large scale 3D projections of familiar animals spring to life and respond to the dance and aerial performers on stage. How long before this unique native wildlife disappears as humans encroach on their habitat?
'Creature invites you to step into an enchanting world to explore how human actions affect the Australian environment.
'First commissioned by QPAC for the 2016 Out of the Box festival for children eight years and under.
'Proudly supported by Brisbane's Child. ' (Production summary)
'The classic Australian story Dot and the Kangaroo jumps into the digital age with this stunning new stage adaptation. Featuring breathtaking aerial acrobatics, live music and spectacular 3D projections, you will discover the Australian landscape as you’ve never seen it before. See indigenous flora and fauna, meet creatures in their natural habitat and explore their quirky characteristics amidst the beauty and fragility of the Australian bush.
'When 5-year-old Dot gets lost in the bush, she is rescued by a kangaroo who gives her magic ‘berries of understanding’ that allow her to follow the languages of all the animals and insects around her. With this new gift, Dot and Kangaroo set out on an action-packed adventure to return her home – an adventure that changes the way she sees the Australian bush and her place within it forever.
'But how long before this unique native wildlife disappears as humans encroach on their habitat? Creature invites you to enter the magical world of the Australian bush to explore how our actions and choices affect the world around us.'
Source: Darwin Entertainment Centre.
'Through a comparison of Canadian, Australian, and New Zealand texts published between 1840 and 1940, From Colonial to Modern develops a new history of colonial girlhoods revealing how girlhood in each of these emerging nations reflects a unique political, social, and cultural context.
'Print culture was central to the definition, and redefinition, of colonial girlhood during this period of rapid change. Models of girlhood are shared between settler colonies and contain many similar attitudes towards family, the natural world, education, employment, modernity, and race, yet, as the authors argue, these texts also reveal different attitudes that emerged out of distinct colonial experiences. Unlike the imperial model representing the British ideal, the transnational girl is an adaptation of British imperial femininity and holds, for example, a unique perception of Indigenous culture and imperialism. Drawing on fiction, girls’ magazines, and school magazine, the authors shine a light on neglected corners of the literary histories of these three nations and strengthen our knowledge of femininity in white settler colonies.' (Publication summary)
'Since the beginnings of settler occupation in Australia, the kangaroo has been claimed at once as a national symbol and as a type of vermin to be destroyed en masse. In Kate Clere McIntyre and Michael McIntyre’s recent award-winning film, Kangaroo: A Love Hate Story, Sydney academic Peter Chen sums up this stark contradiction: “Kangaroos are wonderful, fuzzy, they’re maternal, and they’re also a pest that should be eliminated wholesale”.' (Introduction)
'The outpouring of national sentiment as the colonies moved towards Federation heralded a quest for the ‘Australianising’ of children’s books: fairy tales were no exception. European fairy folk were placed in, or perhaps transported to, bush settings as authors re-imagined the ways in which the emigrant old-world creatures could claim a place in the Australian environment. This paper explores efforts of the early writers to locate an Australian fairyland in the ‘bush’ and contribute to the transmission of national identity.' (Publication abstract)
"The trope of lostness [...] animates complex critical considerations of culture and subjectivity as in Shaun Tan’s The Arrival (2006) and Matt Ottley’s Requiem for a Beast: A Work for Image, Word and Music (2007), where the experience of lostness shapes the protagonists’ journeys, and is understood (like the books themselves) as applicable to children and adults." (Source: introduction)
'This article reflects upon the ways in which white settler children and kangaroos were enlisted into the cultural politics of nation-building and belonging in the early days of Australian Federation. It revisits Ethel Pedley’s turn-of-the-century children’s book, Dot and the Kangaroo, and contextualises it within some of the notable kangaroo/settler events within Australia’s colonial history. It draws attention to the paradoxes inherent in the symbolic association of settler children with native Australian animals in the emerging national imaginary. The article brings early Australian children’s literature into conversation with settler colonial critique and the ‘animal turn’.'
Source: Author's abstract.