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y separately published work icon Folktales from Australia's Children of the World anthology   prose   children's   dreaming story   myth/legend  
Issue Details: First known date: 1979... 1979 Folktales from Australia's Children of the World
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

A collection of thirty-three folktales from diverse national cultures that have contributed to Australia's heritage. Each tale is presented in English and followed by the language of the story's origin. The stories have been collected from community groups across Australia but makes no claims to the significance of the collection to identifying multiculturalism in Australia. The project was initiated by M.J.R. MacKellar, Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs at the time of production and Federal Liberal M.P. for the Division of Warringah from 1969-1994. MacKellar states in the 'Foreword': 'Children are a unifying element in any society, but their involvement in a country such as Australia, where people come from so many different cultural and linguistic backgrounds, is of paramount importance. Not only are children a catalyst in drawing together all members of our society, but they are the future leaders and builders of the richly varied society that Australia is becoming. In building our nation, an understanding and appreciation of each other's background is vital.'




  • Only Australian literature in this collection is fully indexed. Other stories and their original national identity or language, as identified are:

    • 'The Prince Who Married a Frog', Italian, pp.18-21.
    • 'The Cowherd and the Weaver Maid', Chinese [sic], pp.22-26.
    • 'How the Clever Fox Tricked the Man', Croatian, p.27.
    • 'The Jester and the King', Polish, pp.30-33.
    • 'The Orange of Love', Spanish, pp.34-36.
    • 'The Hero of Haarlem', Dutch, pp.37-40.
    • 'Rosa', Turkish, pp.41-43.
    • 'The Donkey of Moulay Bou-Azza', Moroccan (Arabic), pp.44-46.
    • 'Gahan and the Door', Maltese, pp.46-47.
    • 'The Mouse Deer and the Tigers', Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia), pp.48-51.
    • 'Lucia and the Snake', Chilean, pp.52-56.
    • 'Per, Paul and Espen Askelad', Norwegian, pp.56-60.
    • 'Saint Elizabeth and the Roses', Hungarian, pp.62-62.
    • 'Patrick O'Donnell and the Leprechaun', Irish (Gaelic), pp.62-66.
    • 'The Iron Wolf', Lithuanian, pp.67-68.
    • 'The Golden Fleece', Greek, pp.69-72.
    • 'The Legend of Rata', New Zealand (Maori), pp.72-76.
    • 'The Moon Tarrers', Estonian, p.77.
    • 'The Camel and the Jackal', Indian (Hindi), pp.78-80.
    • 'Oh!', Ukrainian, pp.81-85.
    • 'King Arthur and His Sword', English, pp.86-87.
    • 'The Snake King's Gift', Serbian, pp.88-91.
    • 'The Jealous Hyena', Swahili, pp.92-94.
    • 'Paul Bunyan and His Ox', American (English), pp.94-96.
    • 'Scheherazade the Vizier's Daughter', Lebanese (Arabic), pp.97-100.
    • 'The Knight of the Swan', German, pp.101-103.
    • 'The Ruby Prince', Pakistani (Urdu), pp.104-109.
    • 'The White Cat', French', pp.110-113.
    • 'The Inkeeper's Clever Daughter', Jewish (Yiddish), pp.114-118.
    • 'The Lopburi Monkey Club', Thai, pp.118-120.
    • 'Momotaro, Son of a Peach', Japanese, pp.121-124.

Affiliation Notes

  • This work is affiliated with the AustLit subset Asian-Australian Children's Literature and Publishing because it includes Thai, Pakistani, Indonesian, Chinese, and Japanese stories.


* Contents derived from the Sydney, New South Wales,:Ure Smith , 1979 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
The Loaded Dog, Henry Lawson , extract short story (p. 14-17)
Note: 'Abridged from the original story'. No indication of publication from which this version derived.
The Cowherd and the Weaver Maid, Unknown (translator) single work children's fiction children's fable
'A romantic folktale about a couple who are not permitted to see each other because they had become lazy after their marriage. However, on the seventh day of the seventh moon the magpies help the sad couple to meet' (Source: contents page).
(p. 22-25)
Tjuma Tjilkamar-Tapula Yir-Tarrutju The Echidna and the Marsupial Mole, Anonymous , single work prose dreaming story children's
While seeking termites with her digging stick, the echidna accidentally kills the marsupial mole. This is a Dreaming story from the Western Desert region around the Warburton Ranges.
(p. 28-29)
The Mouse Deer and the Tigers, Unknown (translator) single work children's fiction children's myth/legend
'Kanchil, a cunning little mouse deer, outsmarts the tigers who visit the island of Borneo, a part of Indonesia, to demand food. They are so frightened by what they are told that they never return. Even today people do not often see a tiger on the island of Borneo' (source: contents page).
(p. 48-51)
The Camel and the Jackal, Unknown (translator) single work children's fiction children's fable
'Story about a camel who is persuaded to carry a jackal across a river to find food for their dinner. However, as soon as the jackal finishes eating he yelps and howls, attracting all the villagers. The poor camel is caught and beaten, but the jackal discovers that it does not pay to be so selfish' (source: contents page).
(p. 78-80)
The Ruby Prince, Unknown (translator) single work children's fiction children's fable
'Folktale about a princess who will not be content until she knows the origin of her mysterious husband, the Ruby Prince. Her willfulness forces him to return to his people but with the help of a clever servant she wins him back forever' (source: contents page)
(p. 104-109)
The Lopburi Monkey Club, Unknown (translator) single work children's fiction children's fable
'The monkeys of Lopburi in Thailand, a kingdom of South East Asia, are very friendly and playful but they used to be very angry and bad-tempered. A wise old monkey who was very concerned about the situation organised a masked ball. Everyone had a lovely time and the monkeys learnt what fun it is to be friendly and happy' (source: contents page).
(p. 118-120)
Momotaro, Son of a Peach, Unknown (translator) single work children's fiction children's fable
'Momotaro is one of Japan's favourite folktale characters. In this exciting adventure he saves his country from the terrible devils with the help of his friends—the dog, the monkey and the pheasant—and returns to his parents' home bearing lots of treasures and the king devil's horns' (source: contents page).
(p. 121-124)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Last amended 11 Aug 2014 12:04:42