Dot and the Kangaroo Ethel C Pedley 1 Dollar 2012 and 2013 Baby Mint Set Coin

September 11, 2013

Australia 2012 and 2013 Baby Mint Set 1 Dollar featuring Ethel C Pedley, Author of the Popular Childrens Book Dot and the Kangaroo (image courtesy

The much loved and probably the first published Australian children's book "Dot and the Kangaroo" written by Ethel Charlotte Pedley at the turn of the century, has been immortalized on a special commemorative 1 dollar coin featured in the Royal Australian Mint's 2012 and 2013 six coin Australian Baby Mint Set.

Teaching us to live in harmony with the Australian bush and learning how to care for and protect our natural surroundings is the premise behind this delightful children's story. Dot, on an adventure picking wildflowers becomes lost, but is found by the Kangaroo who starts teaching Dot about the value of the Australian bush. By eating "berries of understanding" Dot can understand animal language, learning about their habitats and day to day lives. On returning home, Dot is so appreciative of the kindness and learning extended to her that she assists in building a "safe haven" for the bush animals, far away from the evils of humans who only want to destroy the animal's habitat, and eat and hunt them.

Since 1899, this book has been a best-seller with more than 22 reprints and was adapted in 1977 by Yoram Gross into an award winning film with Spike Milligan's voice as the Platypus. Do you remember this from when you were a kid?

Ethel C Pedley was born in England in 1859, and migrated to Sydney with her parents and three brothers (Arthur, Newland and Oswald) around 1873. Coming from a musical family, Ethel was immersed in the creative arts from a very early age, learning to play the piano at 5, the violin at 17, then winning a medal when in 1880 she attended the prestigious Royal Academy of Music in London.

Back in Australia in 1882 Ethel began teaching singing and violin, and with her friend Emmeline Woolley, founded St Cecilia Choir of Ladies Voices in 1884. Here Ethel conducted the choir, organized concerts, charity events and even wrote musical compositions.

Ethel returned to London in 1896 and managed to coax the Associated Board of the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal College of Music to export their music examinations to Australia, becoming New South Wales' sole representative of the Board in the process.

Sadly, Ethel didn't live to witness the publication of her children's book "Dot and the Kangaroo" in London 1899. She died of cancer at the age of 39 and is buried in the Anglican section of the Waverley Cemetery, Sydney. It's believed that her love affair with the Australian bush developed from the visits to her brother Arthur's station at Morundah, in the Riverina region of New South Wales. Arthur was an accomplished man in his own right - building the Lyric Theatre in George Street, Sydney and other properties after his retirement from farming in 1905.

Before she died, Ethel did arrange for the illustrations to be drawn by Australian Frank Mahony (1862 - 1916), with plates etched by Benton & Bacon of Sydney. Up until around 1901 (when Australia became a Federation) Frank was one of the best-known Australian artist and illustrators, with horses and action scenes being his specialty. Besides his drawings for "Dot and the Kangaroo", his drawings have also appeared in other well known Australian books such as Henry Lawson's "While the Billy Boils" (1896) and "In the Days when the World was Wide" (1900) with the originals being held at the Mitchell Library, Sydney.

The Dot and the Kangaroo Baby Mint Set depicts Ethel C Pedley as the central character on the $1 coin designed by Aaron Baggio (but doesn't bear his initials). She is surrounded by Dot, the Kangaroo and Kookooburra the central characters from the story. It is released as a standard 9 gram 25 millimetre aluminum bronze one dollar coin. The uncirculated Australian Baby Mint set comprises 6 unc coins in total (all standard designs except for the $1) - 5 cent, 10 cent, 20 cent, 50 cent, $1, $2 in Mint packaging and outer cardboard sleeve displaying images from the 1977 film. Also included in this Baby Coin set is a pad printed medallion, photo frame and place to write new baby's birth details with space to record family tree details. It is a fitting gift for a new baby born in either 2012 or 2013. The obverse of the dollar coin and all the other coins in this set is the mature portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Ian Rank-Broadley.

The Dot and the Kangaroo Baby Mint Set retails locally at $45 with mintage numbers to be determined by its demand. The 2012 and 2013 Baby Proof Set also carries the Dot and the Kangaroo theme but it's the Baby Mint (uncirculated coin) Set that includes the unique Ethel C Pedley 1 dollar coin seen above. Buying the Baby Mint Set is the only way to secure this Australian dollar coin minted in 2012 and 2013.

Prior to 2012 the 2009, 2010 and 2011 Baby Mint Sets featured the Dorothy Wall Dollar and were themed around her book and characters of Blinky Bill.

Posted by harrisk at September 11, 2013 11:49 AM
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